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«»«»'****'«*'»«„, 


PRIlSrCETON,  N.  J. 


SAe// 


Dividon  _Lj_I> J    I  .1 

Section  ._f_Z^..CL^ 

Number  ___ 


if 


THE    DIVINE    UNITY 


OF 


SCRIPTURE 


THE   DIVINE   UNITY 


OF 


SCRIPTURE 


BY  THE  LATE  REV. 

ADOLPH     SAPHIR,    D.D. 


'Ronton 

HODDER    AND    STOUGHTON 

27  PATERNOSTER  ROW 


MDCCcxcn 


PREFACE 


These  lectures  of  Dr.  Saphir  were  delivered  in 
Kensington,  at  the  close  of  1889  and  beginning 
of  1890.  They  are,  in  some  respects,  the  most 
important  of  all  his  writings,  as  they  give,  in  con- 
nected form,  his  matured  views  of  the  relation  of 
the  two  great  divisions  of  the  Bible.  No  preacher 
or  writer  of  our  day  had  such  a  clear  insight  into 
the  spirit  and  connection  of  the  sacred  writings. 
This  was  the  great  charm  of  his  preaching,  which 
made  it  so  attractive  to  many  earnest -minded 
Christians  of  all  churches.  It  was  full  of  instruc- 
tion, because  it  brought  out  the  deep  meaning,  quite 
apparent  when  indicated, — for  his  interpretations 
were  not  fanciful,  but  real, — of  the  symbols  and 
prophecies  of  the  Old  Testament,  as  well  as  of  the 
narratives  and  sayings  of  the  New.  The  unity 
of  teaching  he  most  clearly  proved,  and  strikingly 
illustrated.  His  identification  of  Jehovah  with  Jesus 
can  scarcely  be  disputed,  by  any  careful  and  prayerful 
student  of  Scripture.  It  is  everywhere  manifest,  in 
the  claims  and  teachings  of  Jesus  Himself.  His 
distinction  between  monotheism  and  Jehovahism  is 
vital,  and  clears  away  much  of  the  vague  mistiness 
of  modern  speculation.  Dr.  Saphir  was  a  man  of 
genius    and    commanding   intellect,   belonging   to   a 


VI  PREFACE 

family  famed  for  literary  ability  throughout  Germany 
and  Hungary.  His  Jewish  mind  and  training  en- 
abled him  easily  to  apprehend  the  typology  and 
eastern  imagery  of  the  Bible.  He  had  also  the 
great  advantage  of  understanding  thoroughly  both 
the  philosophy  and  literature  of  Germany,  having 
been  brought  into  painful  contact  in  his  youth  with 
Hegelianism  (by  which  he  was  much  attracted),  as 
well  as  with  the  now  prevalent  materialism.  He 
understood,  therefore,  much  better  than  most  English 
theologians,  the  sources  from  which  many  of  the 
weapons  are  derived,  that  are  now  used,  in  the 
criticism  of  the  Old  Testament.  These  lectures  are 
better  than  directly  controversial.  Indirectly,  as  for 
instance  in  meeting  the  attempt  to  weaken  the 
authority  of  Christ's  testimony  to  the  ancient  scrip- 
tures, they  seriously  affect  the  position  of  recent 
assailants  of  the  antiquity  and  authenticity  of  the 
books  of  Moses  and  the  prophets.  They  bring  out 
also  such  an  organic  connection  between  the  Penta- 
teuch— as  the  basis  —  and  the  books  which  follow, 
and  also  between  the  histories,  psalms,  and  pro- 
phecies themselves  as  to  render  the  attempt  to 
revolutionise  the  times  and  order  exceedingly  diffi- 
cult. I  may  state,  in  conclusion,  that  Dr.  Saphir 
had  these  lectures  carefully  written  out  by  a  well- 
known  reporter,  which  was  his  usual  method,  and 
was  preparing  them  for  the  press,  when  he  was  so 
suddenly  and  unexpectedly  removed  from  the  earthly 
scene.  They  are  published — with,  of  course,  cor- 
rections for  the  press — -just  as  he  left  them. 

G.  CARLYLE. 

London,  1892. 


CONTENTS 


LECT.  PAGE 

1.  The  Eternal  Word  and  the  Written  Word  .  i 

2.  A  Book  Revelation  an  Intrinsic  Necessity  .        20 

3.  The    Relation   of   the    Human,    Historical,  etc.. 

Elements  to  the  Divine       .  .  .  .38 

4.  The  Testimony  of  Jesus  considered— and  Decisive        62 

5.  The  Jews— as  Custodians  and  Witnesses      .  .        83 

6.  Israel  since  the  Dispersion — an  Evidence  of  the 

Truth  of  Prophecy    .  .  .  .  .104 

7.  The  Church  of  Christ  based  on  the  Old  Testa- 

ment—The New  Testament  .  .  .'        .  -125 

8.  Present  Aspects  of  Doubt  and  Unbelief  as  regards 

THE  Scriptures  .....       149 

9.  Alleged  Discordance  between  the  Old  and  New 

Testaments        .  .  .  •  •  .       t68 


CONTENTS 


10.  The    Perfect     Harmony    of    the    Old    and    New 

Testaments        ......       191 

11.  The  Books  of  Israel  and  of  the   Church  shown 

TO  be  organically  connected  .  .  .       216 

12.  Our  Faith  based  on  Facts — and  the  Bible  a  Book 

of  Facts  ......      238 

13.  Objections  to  Miracle  have  no  Basis  in  Reason  262 

14.  The  Doctrinal,  Typical,  and  Prophetical  Aspects 

of  the  History  of  Israel     ....      286 

15.  The  Deep  Spiritual  Meaning  of  the  Decalogue 

and  of  the  whole  Law         ....       309 

16.  The  Jewish  Ordinances  shown  to  reveal  vividly 

the  Gospel        ......      337 


THE  ETERNAL  WORD  AND  THE  WRITTEN  WORD 

The  Bible  a  living  book  in  the  present  day — The  organic  connection 
between  Jesus  Christ  the  eternal  Word  of  God,  and  the  Bible 
the  written  Word  of  God — As  Jesus  the  Son  of  God  and  Son  of 
Man,  so  the  Bible  the  Word  of  God  and  yet  an  intensely  human 
book — As  Jesus  Son  of  David,  so  the  Bible  a  Jewish  book, 
written  by  Jews,  but  for  all  nations — Objections  made  to  God 
revealing  Himself  in  a  book — How  it  became  spread  among  the 
nations — Influence  of  Greek  translation — How  it  has  outlived 
persecution,  imprisonment,  rationalism,  infidelity,  pantheism,  and 
criticism — Never  more  a  living  book  than  at  present — Translated 
into  all  languages,  adapts  itself  to  all  nations — Its  great  influence 
on  English  and  other  literature — Its  power  over  children — Testi- 
mony of  Huxley  in  regard  to  this — Professor  vSt.  Hilaire — The 
style  of  the  Bible — Heine — Contrast  between  inspiration  and  genius 
— The  Bible  never  old — General  Schmidtt's  answer  to  Frederick 
the  Great — Strauss's  remarkable  statement. 

My  subject  this  morning  is — The  Bible  a  Living  Book 
in  the  Present  Day. 

Between  Jesus  Christ,  the  eternal  Word  of  God, 
and  Scripture,  the  written  Word  of  God,  there  is 
an  organic  connection  ;  and  because  there  is  this 
unity  there  are  a  number  of  resemblances,  which 
strike  even  the  most  superficial  observer,  between 
Jesus  Christ  and  the  Bible.  I  shall  instance  only 
three. 

B 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


The  first  is  that  Jesus  is  the  Son  of  God,  the 
Lord  from  heaven — who  came  from  above  ;  and  that 
Jesus  at  the  same  time  is  the  Son  of  Man  who  in 
all  things  became  like  unto  His  brethren.  So  we 
behold  the  Scripture — the  Word  of  God  and  yet  an 
intensely  human  book,  written  by  men  and  for  men, 
and  breathing  everywhere  the  atmosphere  of  human 
life  and  of  human  emotions. 

The  second  parallel  is  this — that  Jesus  not  merely 
is  man  born  of  a  woman,  but  that  He  is  the  Son  of 
David  and  the  Son  of  Abraham.  He  came  out  of 
Bethlehem.  He  was  brought  up  in  Nazareth.  He 
taught  in  Galilee  and  Judsea,  and  over  His  cross 
the  words  were  written  "  Jesus,  King  of  the  Jews  "  ; 
and  the  special  relation  in  which  Jesus  stands  to  the 
Jews  was  not  merely  for  a  certain  period,  but  for  all 
the  ages,  as  long  as  this  earth  stands  and  the  sun  and 
moon  endure.  Likewise  the  Scripture  is  an  intensely 
Jewish  book.  All  the  authors,  both  of  the  Old  and 
New  Testament  writings,  not  even  Luke  the  beloved 
physician  excepted,  were  Hebrews  of  the  Hebrews. 
Jewish  is  the  history,  Jewish  is  the  tone  in  which 
it  is  written  ;  even  the  Greek  writings  of  the  New 
Testament  speak  with  the  voice  of  Israel  ;  and 
the  full  contents  of  holy  Scripture  will  never  be 
thoroughly  understood,  until  Israel  is  again  brought 
back  to  the  allegiance  and  faith  of  its  Messiah. 

But  although  Jesus  came  to  His  own,  yet  Jesus  is 
the  Light  of  the  World,  the  Blessing  of  all  Nations, 
and  the  name  of  Jesus  is  to  be  made  known  among 
all  families  and  kindreds  of  the  earth,  for  there  is 
only  one  God  and  one  Mediator  between  God  and 
man  —  the  man  Christ  Jesus.  Likewise  is  this 
Jewish  Bible  the  book  for  the  whole  world,  and  here 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD 


there  is  neither  Jew  nor  Greek,  barbarian,  Scythian, 
bond  nor  free.      It  is  the  book  of  humanity. 

Third  parallel  :  Jesus  Christ  spoke  in  the  simplest 
possible  language.  He  taught  daily  in  the  temple. 
He  spoke  in  the  streets  and  in  the  concourse  of  the 
multitudes.  He  said,  "  He  that  hath  ears  let  him 
hear,"  and  yet  only  they  that  were  enlightened  by 
the  Spirit  of  God  were  able  to  understand  His  words. 
Only  His  sheep  hear  His  voice.  Likewise  the  Bible 
is  the  simplest  book  accessible  to  the  most  illiterate 
and  to  children,  and  yet  it  requires  the  illumination 
of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  order  that  its  simple  words 
may  be  understood  and  its  lucid  and  clear  invitations 
and  announcements  may  be  accepted. 

If  there  is  this  resemblance  between  Christ  and 
the  Scripture,  there  is  also  a  resemblance  between 
the  effect  of  Christ's  words,  and  the  effect  of  the 
Scriptures,  on  the  minds  of  men.  The  words  of  our 
blessed  Saviour  drew  round  Him  various  circles, 
more  or  less  distant  from  Him.  The  outer  circle  is 
pictured  in  the  officers  who  went  to  take  Jesus, 
and  who  said,  "  Never  man  spake  like  this  man." 
There  was  something  so  unique,  so  real,  there  was 
something  so  high  above  all  human  utterances  in 
the  words  of  this  man,  that  this  very  peculiarity 
declared  unto  them  His  sacred  right  of  authority. 
The  world  has  never  heard  such  a  voice.  The  world 
has  never  heard  such  words  and  such  wisdom. 

Nearer  to  Christ  is  another  circle.  When  the 
men  who  were  in  the  synagogue  of  Nazareth  and 
who  listened  to  the  words  of  Jesus  as  He  expounded 
His  mission  to  them  from  the  prophet  Isaiah,  bore 
witness  to  Him,  and  were  astonished  on  account  of 
the  gracious  words  which  flowed  from  His  lips,  their 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


feelings  were  touched,  their  imagination  was  roused. 
Still  nearer  were  those  who,  after  the  Sermon  on  the 
Mount,  were  astonished  at  His  teaching,  and  said 
that  He  spoke  with  power  and  not  as  the  scribes. 
Here  the  conscience  and  the  heart  were  stirred. 
There  is  a  message  of  God  Himself  to  men  in  the 
words  of  this  man. 

Still  nearer  to  Christ  were  the  disciples  who  said, 
"  Lord,  to  whom  shall  we  go  ?  Thou  hast  the  words 
of  eternal  life "  ;  and  yet  closer  to  Him  were  the 
apostles,  and  all  Christians  after  the  coming  of  the 
Spirit  on  the  clay  of  Pentecost,  who,  in  the  fulness  of 
the  assurance  of  understanding  and  of  joy,  were  able 
to  say,  "  The  darkness  is  past  and  the  true  light  now 
shineth." 

But  to-day  I  wish  to  speak  only  of  the  very 
outermost  circle  round  Christ — the  world  that  says 
of  the  Scripture,  "  Never  man  spake  like  this  man." 

But  before  I  speak  of  the  Scriptures  or  Bible — 
"  the  Book  " — I  wish  to  remind  you  of  the  objections 
which  have  often  been  brought  forward  against  our 
assertion  that  God  has  embodied  His  message  unto 
mankind  in  a  BOOK.  That  seems  a  strange  and  a 
mechanical  thing  to  some  men  who  are  conversant 
chiefly  with  their  own  intuitions  and  with  the  specula- 
tions of  the  human  mind.  Let  us  think,  then,  for  a 
moment  why  God  has  chosen  a  book  to  be  the 
channel,  the  vehicle  of  His  thoughts  and  of  His 
purposes  to  mankind. 

The  gift  of  language  is  very  wonderful,  nay,  it 
is  divine.  It  is  the  Rubicon  which  none  of  the 
lower  creation  have  ever  crossed.  Man  alone  upon 
earth  speaks,  and  we  are  unable  to  separate  thought 
and  self-consciousness  from  words.      Man   is  able  to 


THE   WRITTEN  WORD 


communicate  his  thoughts  and  his  feelings  to  his 
fellow-man  in  words.  Man  is  able  to  embody  his 
experiences  in  words.  As  long  as  human  beings 
attained  such  a  long  life  as  we  read  of  in  the 
book  of  Genesis,  tradition  was  a  safe  vehicle  for 
conveying  important  thoughts  and  events  and  facts 
to  subsequent  generations.  But,  very  soon,  man  felt 
the  need  of  securing  and  embodying  his  words  in 
such  a  form  that  they  would  be  steadfast  and  correct 
and  easily  accessible.  And  what  a  wonderful  bene- 
factor of  the  human  race  was  he  who  invented 
writing !  It  seems  as  if,  by  writing,  thoughts  were 
imprisoned,  stereotyped  ;  but,  rather,  by  means  of 
writing,  thoughts  receive  wings  to  fly  abroad  through 
all  the  ages  and  nations  of  the  earth.  Without 
writing,  human  progress  would  have  been  almost 
impossible,  individual  progress  exceedingly  slow,  the 
progress  of  communities  scarcely  perceptible. 

And  here,  again,  there  is  a  distinction  to  be 
made.  Some  of  the  ancient  nations  embodied  their 
thoughts  in  writings  which  appealed  to  the  eye, 
reminding  the  eye  of  objects  and  actions,  by  pic- 
tures, which  were  brought  before  it,  whereas,  a  far 
more  perfect  way  of  conveying  our  thoughts  is  by  an 
alphabet  which,  through  the  eye,  affects  the  inner 
ear,  and  in  which  every  sign  is  representative  of  a 
sound  ; — this  was  the  kind  of  writing  which  was 
known,  probably  to  the  patriarchs,  certainly  to 
Moses  and  to  the  people  of  Israel  in  his  day,  so 
that  we  meet  now  with  this  extraordinary  fact,  that 
the  Egyptians,  the  Babylonians,  and  the  Assyrians, 
nations  far  greater  and  more  powerful  than  the 
Jews,  earnestly  wishing  to  give  immortality  to 
themselves    and    to    their    history,    embodied    their 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


past  experiences  in  great  and  colossal  monuments 
upon  which  there  were  inscribed  mysterious  figures. 
Notwithstanding,  for  centuries  and  centuries  they  re- 
mained unknown  to  the  world,  and  within  even  the 
last  century  they  exercised,  and  sometimes  baffled, 
the  sagacity  of  the  most  ingenious,  whereas  this 
poor  despised  nation — God's  nation — was  able  ^  from 
the  beginning,  in  an  easy,  correct,  and  accessible 
manner,  to  embody  its  history,  also  in  a  compact  and 
continuous  method, — and  for  ages  all  the  educated 
nations  of  the  earth  have  known  that  history.  Your 
children  and  the  children  of  most  of  the  nations  of 
Europe  were  familiar  with  that  history  before  they  were 
familiar  with  the  history  of  their  own  country.  When, 
therefore,  God  said  to  Moses,  "  Write  in  a  book," 
and  again,  "  Write  in  a  book,"  and  when  we  find 
that  our  Saviour  and  all  the  apostles  laid  such  great 
emphasis  upon  that  which  is  written,  and  when  John 
in  the  Apocalypse  received  again  the  command, 
"  Write  in  a  book,"  do  we  not  see  that  God  acted, 

^  In  a  paper  on  the  great  discovery  of  the  cuneiform  inscriptions  of 
Tel-el-Amarna  by  Professor  Sayce,  the  discoverer,  read  at  the  Victoria 
Institute  in  1889,  it  is  said  "How  highly  educated  this  old  world  was 
we  are  but  just  beginning  to  learn.  But  we  have  already  learnt  enough 
to  discover  how  important  a  bearing  it  has  on  the  criticism  of  the  Old 
Testament.  It  has  long  been  tacitly  assumed  by  the  critical  school  that 
writing  was  not  only  a  rare  art  in  Palestine  before  the  age  of  David,  but 
was  practically  unknown.  Little  historical  credence  can  be  placed,  it 
has  been  urged,  in  the  earlier  records  of  the  Hebrew  people,  because 
they  could  not  have  been  committed  to  writing  until  a  period  when  the 
history  of  the  past  had  become  traditional  and  mythical.  But  this 
assumption  can  no  longer  be  maintained.  Long  before  the  Exodus, 
Canaan  had  its  libraries  and  its  scribes,  its  schools  and  literary  men. 
The  annals  of  the  country,  it  is  true,  were  not  inscribed  in  the  letters  of 
the  Phoenician  alphabet  on  perishable  papyrus ;  the  writing  material 
was  the  imperishable  clay ;  the  characters  those  of  the  cuneiform 
syllabary." 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD 


not  merely  with  the  most  profound  wisdom,  but  also 
with  the  most  fatherly  adaptation  to  the  wants  of 
humanity  ? 

But  I  must  advance  a  step  further.  By  degrees 
the  books  of  the  Old  Testament  were  written,  as  the 
history  of  the  Old  Testament  developed.  Israel 
after  the  captivity,  having  been,  by  the  judgment  of 
God,  delivered  from  idolatry,  now  concentrated  all  its 
religious  and  intellectual  energy  upon  the  Scripture, 
the  law,  and  the  teaching  which  God  had  given 
them, — and  with  the  utmost  reverence  and  the  most 
scrupulous  fidelity  they  collected  and  they  preserved 
the  sacred  writings.  But  the  book  was  in  Hebrew 
and  it  was  in  Palestine,  in  a  corner  of  the  world  ; 
and  if  this  book  is  for  the  world,  who  is  to  publish  it 
and  give  it  unto  the  nations  ?  Then  there  came 
that  wonderful  conqueror  Alexander  the  Great,  a 
bright  meteor  appearing  for  a  brief  time, — and  this 
was  his  great  work  that  he  introduced  the  language 
and  the  culture  of  Greece  into  Asia.  Thus  there 
was  formed  a  bridge  between  the  Jews  in  Palestine 
and  the  whole  outer  world.  The  Greek  language 
was  destined  to  become  the  language  of  the  whole 
inhabited  earth,  and  thus  in  the  providence  of  God, 
through  the  existence  of  multitudes  of  Jews  in 
Alexandria  and  the  surrounding  countries,  there  was 
produced  the  translation  of  the  Hebrew  Bible  into 
the  Greek  Septuagint,  which  served  a  double  purpose 
— first,  God's  Scriptures  were  now  translated  into  a 
language  in  which  they  could  reach  all  the  known 
nations  of  the  earth  ;  and  secondly,  that  very 
language,  the  Greek  language,  was  made  plastic 
to  express  those  ideas  which  no  Greek,  in  fact 
no  nation  of  the  world,  ever  had  before,  and  which 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


were  embodied  in  the  New  Testament — the  ideas 
of  humility,  of  grace,  of  God, — and  afterwards  the 
evangelists  and  the  apostles  found  ready  to  their 
hand  the  Greek  language  in  which  they  carried  the 
tidings  of  salvation  unto  all  the  nations  of  the  earth. 
When  this  book  was  thus  formed — the  Old  Testa- 
ment by  the  care  of  the  Jews,  the  New  Testament 
by  the  care  of  the  early  Church — then  it  began  its 
history  among  the  nations  ;  and  what  I  wish  to 
impress  upon  you  to-day  is,  that  if  we  have  the  book 
at  present  as  a  living  book  amongst  us,  this  is  a 
wonderful  fact,  for  the  persecution  of  it  has  never 
ceased. 

This  book  was  in  the  first  place  persecuted  by 
pagan  Rome.  There  was  a  persecution  of  the 
Bible  and  of  the  people  that  possessed  it.  One  of 
the  persecutions  was  in  the  year  303.  The  early 
Christians  delighted  in  the  Word  of  God.  The 
early  teachers  of  the  Christian  faith  exhorted  them 
to  study  the  whole  of  the  Word.  Irena^us  says, 
"  Read  the  whole  Scripture  because  it  is  written 
'  Of  every  tree  of  the  garden  shalt  thou  eat.' " 
Origen  says,  "  You  must  not  neglect  the  Old  Testa- 
ment but  study  it  equally  with  the  New,  in  order 
that  you  may  be  as  a  good  householder  bringing 
forth  out  of  his  treasure,  things  both  old  and  new." 
And  thus  at  the  public  assemblies  of  the  Christians 
large  portions  of  the  Scriptures  were  read  ;  and  since 
copies    of    the    Scriptures    were     expensive,^    those 

^  Writings  were,  however,  much  cheaper  at  this  period  of  the  early 
Church  than  many  suppose.  There  were  great  numbers  of  copyists  of 
the  Greek  and  Latin  writers,  so  that  copies  could  be  got  for  very 
moderate  sums.  There  were  many  copyists  or  scribes,  doubtless,  also 
in  the  Church, 


THE   WRITTEN  WORD 


Christians  who  were  rich  spent  large  sums  of  money 
in  getting  copies  distributed  among  the  poor  members 
of  the  Church.  So  the  Christians  often  met  to- 
gether in  friendly  and  familiar  intercourse,  in  order 
that  the  Scripture  might  be  read  aloud  to  them  ; 
and  so  intently  did  they  listen  to  the  reading  of  the 
Scriptures  that  Eusebius  tells  us  that  one  John  in 
Egypt,  who  conducted  services,  was  able  to  repeat 
not  merely  chapters,  but  whole  sections  of  the  Word 
of  God.  The  pagans  saw  that  these  Scriptures  were 
the  very  strength  of  the  hated  doctrine,  and  therefore 
the  edict  of  Diocletian  went  forth.  Many  copies  of 
the  Scriptures  were  burnt,  and  many  of  those  who 
kept  the  Scriptures  were  put  to  most  painful  and 
agonising  deaths — two  bishops  among  them.  Papal 
Rome  also  persecuted  the  Scriptures,  but  chiefly  in 
this  way — that  instead  of  being  the  custodian  of 
Scripture  it  became  the  jailer  of  Scripture,  and  for 
many  centuries  the  Word  of  God  was  hidden  from 
the  people,  and  legends  and  traditions  of  men 
became  the  food  of  the  human  mind.  When  Martin 
Luther  emancipated  the  Scriptures  and  sent  them 
forth  into  the  world,  the  discovery  of  printing,  under 
the  providence  of  God,  having  been  made  only  a 
few  years  before,  the  teaching  of  Luther  began  and 
continued,  with  the  key  which  opened  the  Scriptures, 
namely,  justification  by  faith  in  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ.  Then  the  nations  of  Europe  came  and 
listened  gladly  to  the  heavenly  voice.  Still  the 
Book  had  not  exhausted  all  the  persecutions  it  was 
to  endure,  for  after  a  while  it  was  persecuted  by 
Rationalism, — and  it  is  very  important  to  note  this 
fact  ;  for  some  of  those  who  call  themselves  ad- 
vanced, but  are  in  reality  the  most  retrograde  people 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


we  have  among  us,  are,  perhaps  unconsciously  to 
themselves,  leading  us  back  again  to  that  dreary 
sandy  desert.  A  Rationalist  does  not  believe  in  the 
divinity  of  Christ,  does  not  believe  in  the  direct 
interference  of  God  in  miracle,  does  not  believe  in 
prophecy  as  foretelling  future  events,  does  not  believe 
in  the  expiatory  atonement  of  our  Saviour.  What 
does  he  believe  ?  He  believes  no  more  than  he 
might  know  without  the  Bible,  except  that  in  Jesus 
there  appears  a  beautiful  and  a  grand  character. 
This  Rationalism,  while  treating  the  Bible  outwardly 
with  respect,  leaves  it  like  Samson  shorn  of  his 
locks  and  his  eyes  blind  when  the  cry  went  forth, 
"  The  Philistines  are  upon  thee."  Oh,  no  wonder 
that  there  is  no  strength  and  no  energy  in  this  emas- 
culated Bible. 

Then  came  the  period  of  infidelity — bold,  mocking, 
scornful,  calling  the  Bible  a  liar,  and  predicting  that 
in  fifty  years  there  would  not  be  a  trace  or  a  vestige 
left  of  this  book.  Then,  even  in  our  own  days,  there 
came  Pantheism,  which  said  that  miracle  was  im- 
possible, that  there  was  no  personal  God,  that  that 
which  is  God  becomes  conscious  of  itself  only  in  the 
human  mind,  and  that  therefore  all  the  narratives 
concerning  Jesus  Christ  were  only  mythical  garments 
by  which  to  represent  an  idea.  Pantheists  derided  the 
Bible  as  a  thing  that  had  long  had  influence,  but  had 
now  disappeared  from  among  living  powers. 

Then  came  the  internal  criticism,  applying  the 
resources  of  history,  of  physical  science,  of  archaeology, 
to  examining  the  Scriptures  and  the  authenticity  and 
integrity  of  its  various  books,  which  has  precisely 
the  same  effect  on  the  mass  of  people  as  tradi- 
tion had  under  the  influence  of  Rome, — namely,  to 


THE   WRITTEN  WORD 


make  them  think  that  the  simple  and  unlearned 
man  is  not  able  to  understand  the  Scripture,  that 
there  is  a  hedge  of  thorns  and  briars  round  about 
it,  and  that  only  those,  who  devote  themselves  to 
the  study  of  specific  points,  can  with  any  certainty 
ascertain  what  is  true  and  what  is  spurious  in  the 
Bible.  And  yet  notwithstanding  these  facts — that 
pagan  Rome  sought  to  kill  the  Bible,  and  papal 
Rome  to  imprison  the  Bible,  Rationalism  to  emas- 
culate the  Bible,  French  infidelity  to  deride  the 
Bible,  Pantheism  to  bury  the  Bible,  and  this  modern 
criticism  to  remove  the  Bible  to  an  infinite  distance 
from  the  generality  of  mankind, — the  Bible  lives,  like 
the  Jews.  Pharaoh  tried  to  drown  them,  another 
great  king  tried  to  burn  them.  Haman  tried  to  give 
them  up  to  an  ignominious  death,  but  notwithstanding 
all  this  they  live,  and  so  does  the  Bible  live,  and  not 
merely  does  it  live,  but  it  has  never  shown  so  much 
vitality  as  in  the  present  day. 

Is  not  the  Bible  Society  a  wonderful  fact  ?  A 
great  philosopher,  many  years  ago,  who  was  president 
at  one  of  its  meetings,  gave  a  very  remarkable 
address,  in  which  he  showed  the  importance  of  the 
Bible  Society  ;  he  said  that  in  the  Bible  Society  the 
principles  of  the  Reformation  were,  as  it  were,  em- 
bodied before  all  nations — that  this  book  is  the 
property  of  all  men,  that  in  the  Church  of  Christ  all 
members  are  in  direct  communication  with  God 
Himself,  and  that  it  is  easy  for  all  to  understand 
it.  This  Bible  Society  has  published  more  than 
3 1 2,000,000  copies  of  the  Bible  and  translated  it 
into  350  languages,  and  70  of  these — and  this  is  a 
remarkable  fact — languages  which  at  the  beginning 
of  this  century  possessed  no  alphabet,  and  not  the 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


slightest  vestige  of  a  literature.  We  can  scarcely 
measure  the  importance  of  giving  to  a  people  letters, 
the  possibility  of  a  literature,  and,  to  begin  that 
literature,  the  Book  of  books.  To  have  done  this 
seventy  times  is  a  wonderful  achievement.  While 
the  Church  of  Rome  boasts  that  among  all  nations 
of  the  earth  she  is  continually  repeating  the  Mass 
in  the  dead  Latin  language  which  appeals  to  no 
human  heart,  evangelical  Christianity  has  gone  forth, 
renewing  the  Pentecostal  miracle,  and  showing  the  all- 
embracing  philanthropy  of  our  great  God  and  Saviour. 

This  book  is  full  of  interest,  whether  to  enemy 
or  friend.  Never  has  the  Bible  been  so  minutely 
studied,  never  has  it  occupied  so  much  the  attention 
of  men  generally,  and  never  has  the  desire  of  Chris- 
tians to  be  made  acquainted  with  the  whole  counsel 
of  God  as  embodied  in  it,  been  so  strong  as  at  this 
day.      It  is  indeed  a  living  book. 

And  yet  I  have  only  touched,  as  it  were,  the 
outside  of  this  great  subject.  So  familiar  are  we  with 
the  facts,  that  it  is  necessary  for  us  to  look  them  more 
fully  in  the  face  in  order  to  impress  them  on  our 
minds.  No  other  book  can  be  compared  with  this, 
simply  as  a  book.  It  is  an  Oriental  book,  but  as  Sir 
William  Jones  pointed  out  long  ago,  all  the  other 
Oriental  books,  be  they  ever  so  poetical,  or  be  they 
ever  so  wise,  in  order  to  be  made  intelligible  and 
palatable  to  the  western  mind,  require  to  be  trans- 
fused. Many  omissions  are  necessary,  and  many 
modifications  are  requisite.  How  is  it  that  this 
Oriental  book  has  taken  possession  chiefly  of  Japhet, 
of  the  western  nations — of  England,  of  Germany, 
of  America?  How  is  it  that  this  Oriental  book, 
whether  taken  to  Greenland,  or  to  Madagascar,  or  to 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD  13 

South  Africa,  or  to  the  interior  of  India,  is  a  book 
that  appeals  to  the  mind  and  heart  of  those  that 
hear  it.  Only  last  week  I  read  an  account  of  a 
missionary  who  was  reading  the  ist  chapter  of 
the  epistle  to  the  Romans,  in  which  heathenism  is 
described  in  its  effects,  and  when  the  chapter  was 
finished,  a  Brahmin  who  was  present  went  up  and 
said  "  That  describes  us."  He  recognised  in  the  words 
the  condition  of  his  own  nation.  To  this  book 
there  is  no  limitation  of  race  or  nationality.  It  has 
become  in  all  nations  a  household  book,  a  home 
book,  a  heart  book.  Look  at  the  history  that  it 
has  had  in  the  past.  We  can  measure  the  univers- 
ality of  a  book  by  the  power  it  has  of  being  translated 
into  other  languages.  Look  at  the  German  Bible. 
The  German  Bible  is  the  standard  of  German  litera- 
ture. All  Germans,  whether  they  be  believers  or 
unbelievers,  Romanists  or  Protestants,  acknowledge 
that  Martin  Luther,  in  translating  the  Bible  into 
German,  transformed  and  fixed  the  German  language. 
The  German  language  as  it  were  renewed  its  youth, 
nay,  more  than  that,  it  imbibed  vivifying  and  trans- 
figuring elements  which  it  never  possessed  before. 
Every  turn  of  Luther's  Bible,  every  mode  of  expres- 
sion is  intensely  German,  out  of  the  very  depth  of 
the  heart  of  the  German  nation.  Is  it  not  so  with 
your  English  Bible  also  ?  How  is  it  that  this 
Hebrew  book  becomes  the  most  German  and  the  , 
most  English  of  all  books  ?  Because  it  speaks  to 
the  heart  of  humanity.  Consider  all  the  minds 
which  in  the  past  this  book  has  influenced.  Unless 
you  examine  with  this  special  purpose, — thanks  to 
the  writings  of  Milton  and  Shakespeare  and  other 
great  authors, — you  cannot  imagine  how  the  Bible 


14  THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 

narratives,  the  Bible  truths,  the  Bible  similes,  the 
Bible  expressions,  have  entered  into  the  very 
marrow  of  English  literature.  You  continually  find 
terms  and  expressions  which  they  owe  to  the  Bible. 
And  I  am  sure  that  all  will  bear  me  witness  that 
I  tell  what  they  themselves  have  experienced  when 
I  say  that  if  you  have  a  speech  of  the  most  brilliant 
eloquence,  or  a  piece  of  the  most  subtle  and  acute 
reasoning,  and,  if  a  Bible  passage  be  quoted,  that 
passage  in  the  midst  of  all  that  is  brilliant  will  shine 
forth  more  brilliant  still,  and  will  appear  deeper  than 
all  that  is  profound,  and  will  take  hold  of  men  and 
of  the  affections  of  men,  as  nothing  else  can. 

Consider  again  the  minds  which  have  bowed  in 
admiration  of  this  book, — as  Leibnitz,  Milton,  Lord 
Bacon,  Pascal,  Faraday,  Newton,  Locke, — metaphysi- 
cians, men  of  natural  science,  poets  and  philosophers 
— not  that  I  wish  to  adduce  this  as  an  argument  for 
the  truth  of  the  Bible.  It  was  not  because  these  men 
were  wise  and  learned,  but  because  the  Holy  Ghost 
enlightened  them  that  they  saw  the  truth  as  it  is  in 
the  Scriptures  ;  but  this  fact  proves  that  although 
there  are  many  wise  men  who  reject  the  Bible,  it  is 
not  their  wisdom  that  forces  them  to  reject  it,  neither 
is  it  the  wisdom  and  learning  of  others  that  incline 
them  to  receive  it.  This  book  is  high  above  all 
human  wisdom  or  genius, — coming  from  above  with 
its  own  light  and  with  its  own  power. 

But  I  would  remind  you  of  another  and  far 
larger  class  to  whom  the  Bible  has  thus  endeared 
itself  and  been  its  own  witness.  It  is  a  very  strange 
thing  that  there  is  no  other  book  in  the  world 
for  children  like  the  Bible.  There  is  a  remarkable 
passage  in  one  of  the  addresses  of  Huxley,  in  which 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD  15 

he  says  that  although  he  is  entirely  in  favour  of  secular 
education,  yet  he  is  completely  at  a  loss  what  substi- 
tute to  have  for  the  Bible,  for  there  is  no  other 
book  in  which  the  highest,  the  most  sublime  and 
purifying  thoughts  are  made  so  accessible  and  so 
attractive  to  the  child's  mind  as  the  Bible.  Professor 
St.  Hilaire  writes — "  I  have  travelled  north  and  south, 
and  east  and  west,  and  have  been  much  struck  with 
the  fact  that  in  all  the  countries  in  which  the  Bible 
is  read  there  is  a  literature  for  children  and  for  work- 
ing men,  but  in  those  countries  in  which  the  Bible  is 
not  read,  as  in  Italy,  or  even  in  France,  there  is  no 
literature  for  the  children  or  for  the  poor.  Where 
do  you  find  history  ?  where  do  you  find  narratives  ? 
where  do  you  find  characters  ?  where  do  you  find 
doctrine  ?  where  do  you  find  poetry — such  as  the 
Bible  presents  ?  Universal  is  its  language.  It  is  like 
the  sun  which  enlightens  all  lands." 

Poets  especially  have  acknowledged  the  suprem- 
acy of  the  Bible.  Goethe,  that  great  representative 
of  modern  thought,  has  said,  "  Let  the  world  pro- 
gress as  much  as  it-  likes,  let  all  branches  of  human 
research  develop  to  the  very  utmost,  nothing  will  take 
the  place  of  the  Bible — that  foundation  of  all  culture 
and  of  all  education." 

Look  at  the  style  of  the  Bible,  for  every  book  has 
its  style.  What  is  the  style  of  the  Bible  ?  The  style 
of  the  Bible  is  difficult  to  describe,  but  every  one  has 
a  distinct  idea  of  it.  The  simplicity,  the  perfect 
objective  calmness  of  its  narratives,  its  power,  its 
lucidity,  its  attractiveness,  its  terseness — every  one  has 
felt,  whether  he  believes  it  or  not.  Where  is  there  in 
the  whole  realm  of  literature  a  narrative  like  that  of 
Abraham  taking  up   Isaac   to   Mount   Moriah,  or  of 


i6  THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 

the  raising  of  Lazarus,  or  of  Joseph  making  himself 
known  to  his  brethren  ?  Or  take  the  whole  gospels 
in  which,  not  for  a  single  moment,  does  the  enthusiasm 
or  feeling  of  the  writers  betray  itself  Did  you  ever 
think  of  the  23rd  Psalm, — six  short  verses  a  com- 
pendium of  all  human  life, — a  little  nightingale  that 
has  gone  through  all  the  countries  of  the  earth  pour- 
ing forth  its  inimitable  melody,  thrilling  the  heart  and 
bringing  peace  and  consolation  to  the  soul  ?  Do  you 
think  that  all  the  poets  in  the  world  if  they  were 
working  for  ever  so  many  years,  could  produce  such 
six  verses  ?  How  wonderful  is  that  style  of  the  Bible  ! 
I  will  read  you  what  a  great  artist,  one  of  the 
greatest  lyrical  poets,  has  said  about  the  Bible.  He 
being  a  true  artist  saw  what  was  beautiful  in  the 
Bible,  and  because  he  was  a  true  artist  he  saw  that 
there  was  an  infinite  distance  between  anything  that 
art  could  produce  and  this  book.  These  are  the 
words  of  Heine,  for  many  years  a  pantheist,  a  frivolous 
and  pernicious  writer,  but  a  man  of  great  genius  : 
"  What  a  book  !  great  and  wide  as  the  world,  rooted 
in  the  depths  of  creation  and  mounting  into  the 
mysterious  azure  of  the  heavens.  Indeed  it  is  God's 
Word,  while  all  other  books  evince  only  human  skill. 
In  the  Bible  is  not  a  vestige  of  art.  It  is  impossible 
to  criticise  its  style."  This  man  came  very  near 
seeing  what  was  the  secret  of  the  style  of  the  Bible. 
As  nature  is  above  art  so  is  the  Bible  above  other 
literature.  When  you  see  an  artificial  rose  you  say 
"  How  clever."  When  you  see  a  real  rose  you  say, 
"  How  beautiful  !  how  fragrant  !  "  As  nature  is 
above  art,  so  is  inspiration  above  nature.  The  man 
of  genius  is  above  the  commonplace  man.  He  is  a 
law  to  himself.      His  words,  his  pictures,  his  sculpture 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD  17 

are  as  it  were  a  creation.  But  although  the  difference 
between  the  man  of  genius  and  the  ordinary  man  is 
exceedingly  great,  it  is  nothing  compared  with  the 
difference  between  a  man  in  whom  the  Holy  Ghost 
has  kindled  His  light,  and  by  whom  the  Spirit  of  the 
Most  High  is  speaking,  and  the  greatest  and  most 
brilliant  genius.  It  is  the  voice  of  God  but  yet  a 
human  voice  which  speaks  to  us  in  this  Word  ;  and  all, 
whether  they  believe  or  not,  must  say  "  Never  man 
spake  like  this  man  "  :  "  Never  book  was  written  like 
this  book," 

Let  us  pass  now  from  the  form  to  the  substance 
of  the  Bible.  There  is  no  other  book  in  the  world 
so  interesting  to  man  as  man,  as  the  Bible.  What  is 
new  ?  What  is  old  ?  People  often  make  great  mis- 
takes in  not  distinguishing  between  modern  and  new, 
for  there  are  many  modern  things,  which  have  been 
buried  thousands  of  times  already  and  are  only 
walking  about  like  ghosts,  having  no  blood  and  life 
in  them  ;  whereas  there  are  old  things  that  are  full 
of  life,  because  they  are  eternal.  In  many  branches 
of  knowledge,  there  is  progress.  Fact  is  discovered 
after  fact  and  experience  comes  after  experience, 
and  so  by  degrees  stone  is  laid  upon  stone  and  the 
great  edifice  is  reared.  But  in  the  things  which 
interest  us  most  deeply  there  is  no  progress.  The 
questions  which  were  asked  in  the  days  of  Job  are 
the  same  questions  which  are  asked  now,  and,  apart 
from  revelation,  man  has  not  advanced  one  single 
step  towards  answering  these  questions.  We  know 
with  the  utmost  certainty  that  the  three  angles  of  a 
triangle  are  together  equal  to  two  right  angles,  and 
there  can  be  no  doubt  about  the  calculations  of 
astronomy  as  to  the  heavenly  bodies, — but  of  what 

c 


THE  ETERNAL   WORD  AND 


use  is  such  knowledge  to  man  woman  and  child,  in 
affliction  and  in  death  ?  But  the  Bible  contains 
those  things  which  concern  our  inmost  spiritual  and 
everlasting  life  ;  and,  therefore,  no  matter  what  turn 
history  may  take,  no  matter  what  development 
science  may  have,  the  intense  interest  and  youth  of 
the  Bible  will  remain,  throughout  all  ages,  the  same. 
There  is  a  story  told  of  one  of  the  generals  of 
Frederick  the  Great.  This  general  was  a  true 
believer  in  Scripture,  and  Frederick  the  Great  often 
addressed  questions  to  him,  partly  to  annoy  him,  and 
partly  to  elicit  some  answer.  He  said  to  him  one 
day,  "  Now  tell  me,  why  do  you  always  revert  to  the 
Bible  ?  "  and  General  Schmidtt  gave  him  this  answer, 
which  I  think  a  most  beautiful  answer,  "  Because  the 
Bible  reveals  to  me  a  Father  who  numbers  the 
very  hairs  of  my  head  ;  because  the  Bible  reveals  to 
me  a  Saviour  who  by  his  blood  expiates  every  one 
of  my  sins  ;  and  because  the  Bible  shows  unto  me 
a  heaven  where  I  am  to  spend  an  everlasting  and 
blessed  existence." 

And  now  I  shall  read  you  the  testimony  of  a 
German  pantheist,  the  celebrated  Strauss,  who  did 
not  believe  in  a  personal  God,  and  who  during  his 
last  illness  said  to  his  friends :  "  I  am  just  going  out 
like  a  flickering  candle  that  is  burned  down."  In 
one  of  his  latest  books  he  said,  in  order  to  account 
for  the  power  of  Christianity  :  *'  The  misery,  caused 
by  the  consciousness  of  our  faults  and  the  reproaches 
of  conscience,  is  relieved  by  Christianity.  Through 
its  doctrine  of  an  expiatory  atonement,  the  desolate 
feeling,  that  we  are  the  victims  of  blind  chance,  van- 
ishes before  the  sheltering  arms  of  Providence,  and 
the  darkness  of  the  gloomy  night  of  our  earthly  life 


THE  WRITTEN  WORD  19 

is  illuminated  by  the  prospect  of  an  immortal  and 
heavenly  blessedness."  Just  what  the  Christian  had 
said  from  his  experience,  and  stated  as  a  fact  de- 
rived from  the  Bible,  this  man  sees  to  be  just  that 
which  meets  the  requirements  of  the  human  heart 
and  conscience,  and  sees  that  it  is  provided  by 
Christianity.  There  is  no  peace  without  a  Father 
who  loves  us  and  cares  for  us,  a  Saviour  who  has 
taken  away  the  burden  from  our  conscience,  and  a 
hope  of  everlasting  blessedness,  which  is  a  hope  that 
"  maketh  not  ashamed." 

I  shall  conclude  by  saying  a  few  words  about 
Jesus  ;  and  while  I  speak  of  Jesus,  think  of  the  Bible 
parallel.  Jesus, — born  at  Bethlehem,  brought  up  at 
Nazareth,  never  at  the  colleges  of  the  learned,  re- 
jected by  the  Pharisees,  derided  by  the  Sadducees, 
crucified,  dead,  and  buried, — lives.  The  mothers 
bring  their  little  babes  to  Him.  Children  sing  to 
Him  "  Hosanna  !  "  An  innumerable  multitude  of 
weary  and  heavy-laden  ones  hear  His  voice,  "  Come 
unto  Me."  And  the  chosen  of  God  confess,  "  Thou 
art  the  Christ,  the  Son  of  the  living  God.  Unto 
whom  shall  we  go  ?  Thou  hast  the  words  of  eternal 
life."     Amen. 


II 

A  BOOK  REVELATION  AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY 

A  book  revelation  an  intrinsic  necessity — Sir  Walter  Scott's  one  book — 
View  of  French  sceptics — Why  persecuted  at  all — Because  it  claims 
divine  authority — Testimony  of  friends  —  Contrasted  with  other 
books — Need  of  a  revelation — Kant's  testimony  to  the  gospels  as 
above  reason— Hegel's  dying  testimony — Six  great  realities  revealed 
onlyin  the  Bible:  i.  God — fully  and  tenderly  revealed ;  metaphysical 
knowledge  of  God  impossible  ;  the  religion  of  the  Old  Testament 
not  monotheism  but  Jehovahism  :  2.  Man — creation  a  revelation 
only  of  Scripture  ;  so  also  the  position  of  man  on  the  earth  ;  and  the 
great  future  of  redeemed  man  :  3.  Grace — unknown  to  the  world  ; 
but  through  the  whole  Scripture,  the  golden  thread  of  grace,  and  the 
scarlet  thread  of  atonement :  4.  Incarnation — no  resemblance  to 
grotesque  fancies  of  heathenism  ;  the  Mediator  rooted  in  the  very 
centre  of  humanity  and  very  centre  of  Godhead  ;  this  foreshadowed 
clearly  in  Moses  and  the  prophets  :  5.  Morality — Bible  morality 
totally  different  from  that  of  mere  ethics  ;  founded  on  personal 
love  :  6.  God's  kingdom — not  an  abstraction,  but  a  reality  ;  God 
the  King  ;  Christ  the  Vicegerent ;  Satan  Ilis  adversary;  mankind 
the  centre  ;  the  earth  the  territory  ;  Israel  the  centre  of  mankind 
— The  Bible,  with  its  history,  laws,  poetry,  maxims,  biographies, 
epistles,  everything  in  it,  is  the  Word  of  God,  not  contains  the 
Word  of  God. 

The  subject  which  is  to  occupy  us  this  morning, 
and  if  it  please  God  also  on  the  next  occasion,  is  the 
following :  The  Bible  is  the  Word  of  God. 

I   wish   to   dwell   more   specially  to-day  on    the 
Bible  as  a  revelation   from  God,  and   to  consider  in 


A  BOOK  REVELATION  AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY   21 

my  next  lecture  the  human,  historical,  and  progress- 
ive aspect  of  Scripture  in  relation  to  Christ  and  the 
Spirit  of  God. 

A  divine  revelation  embodied  in  a  book  is  not 
unworthy  of  God,  and  it  is  according  to  divine  wis- 
dom and  love,  that  God,  who  revealed  Himself  in 
acts  and  in  words  to  the  fathers  by  prophets  and 
apostles,  should  have  caused  the  whole  revelation  to 
be  committed  to  writing  in  order  that  all  future 
generations  might  possess  it  in  a  form — secure,  com- 
plete, correct,  and  easy  of  access. 

A  book  revelation  is  an  intrinsic  necessity.  In 
no  other  way  could  the  divine  purposes  of  love  have 
been  secured,  and,  as  we  have  already  shown,  this 
book  has  made  a  deep  impression  upon  mankind,  so 
that  among  all  the  books  of  the  world  it  stands  out 
pre-eminent — even  as  Jesus  Christ  stands  out  pre- 
eminent among  all  the  children  of  men. 

A  few  days  before  his  death,  when  Sir  Walter 
Scott  was  in  his  library,  he  said  to  his  son-in-law, 
"  Will  you  read  something  to  me  ?  "  and  when  asked 
what  book,  his  immediate  reply  was,  "  You  need 
not  ask.  There  is  only  one  book."  A  few  years 
ago,  as  a  French  pastor  tells  us,  there  was  a  meet- 
ing of  a  number  of  literary  and  scientific  men, 
some  of  whom  were  sceptics  and  materialists,  and 
in  the  course  of  conversation  the  question  arose  : — 
If  we  were  banished  to  a  lonely  island,  or  if  wc 
had  to  suffer  imprisonment  for  a  lifetime,  what  book, 
from  among  all  the  books  of  which  human  literature 
consists,  would  be  chosen  to  be  our  sole  companion  ? 
and  the  unanimous  answer  was,  "  the  Bible." 

This  book  which  in  the  wonderful  providence  of 
God  arose  gradually,  the  art  of  writing  being  known 


J  BOOK  REVELATION 


to  the  children  of  Israel  at  least  as  early  as  the  days 
of  Moses,  and  which  afterwards,  through  its  transla- 
tion into  the  Greek  language,  found  its  way  to  all 
nations,  is,  now  as  ever,  after  having  contended  against 
all  persecution  and  opposition,  a  book  unique  in 
its  vitality,  in  its  attractiveness,  in  its  interest,  and  in 
its  power.  Greek  literature  stands  out  above  the 
literature  of  all  other  nations,  and  all  agree  in 
acknowledging  its  brilliancy  and  power ;  but  it  does 
not  reach  the  heart  of  man,  for  it  does  not  breathe  the 
atmosphere  of  eternity  ;  it  does  not  reach  the  deep 
things  of  the  human  soul  ;  whereas  Hebrew,  a  much 
poorer  and  barer  language,  planting  itself  before  the 
very  sanctuary  of  human  consciousness,  has  taken 
hold  of  the  hearts  and  souls  of  all  races  and  families 
of  the  earth.  Yet,  while  dwelling  on  this,  and  on 
the  peculiar,  powerful,  and  attractive  style  of  Scrip- 
ture, we  were  after  all  only  in  the  outer  court.  It 
is  as  when  standing  before  a  beautiful  and  glorious 
cathedral  where,  at  the  very  outset,  the  gates  attract 
our  attention  and  offer  to  us  many  interesting  points 
of  observation,  but  the  real  beauty  and  glory  can 
only  be  seen  when  we  pass  on, — within.  Or,  it  is  like 
standing  before  a  garden  where  there  is  a  hedge 
which  does  not  altogether  prevent  us  from  seeing 
what  is  beyond.  Through  the  gaps  in  the  hedge  you 
can  get  glimpses  of  some  of  the  lovely  flowers  and 
perceive  the  fragrance  of  others,  yet  you  cannot 
really  see  the  beauty  of  the  garden  till  you  enter  it 
and  stand  within. 

Yet  the  attractiveness  of  the  Bible,  its  unique 
style,  the  hold  it  takes  upon  the  human  heart — none 
of  these  would  have  existed  if  the  Bible  had  been 
only  human.      It  is  because  it  stands  above  mankind 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY 


that  it  dwells  within  mankind  ;  and  who  is  He  that 
inhabits  the  high  and  holy  place,  and  yet  dwells  in 
the  human  heart,  but  God  the  Lord  ; — and  as  God  is, 
so  is  His  Word. 

I  shall  speak  now  of  Scripture  as  it  is  regarded 
by  the  friends  of  Scripture.  As  I  reminded  you  that, 
whilst,  in  regard  to  Jesus,  it  was  acknowledged  that 
no  man  ever  spake  like  this  man  by  those  that 
were  strangers  to  His  grace,  there  was  also  an 
inmost  circle  of  His  disciples  who  believed  and 
were  sure  that  He  was  the  Son  of  God,  so  is  it 
also  in  regard  to  the  Scriptures.  The  Scriptures 
might  say  to  those  who  persecute  them,  "  Many 
good  works  have  I  done  among  you.  For  which 
of  these  good  works  do  ye  persecute  me  ? "  And 
the  answer  of  men  would  be,  "  For  a  good  work  we 
persecute  thee  not,  but  because  thou,  being  a  book 
like  other  books,  claimest  to  be  a  divine  book."  But 
the  testimony  of  the  intimate  friends  of  the  Bible  is 
that  Scripture  is  the  Word  of  God. 

It  may  be  said  that  the  testimony  of  friends  is  not 
of  decisive  value,  and  yet,  after  all,  who  but  a  friend 
can  witness  effectively  ?  The  witness  of  enemies 
is  negative.  So  it  was  in  the  case  of  Jesus.  Judas 
said,  "  I  have  shed  innocent  blood."  Pilate  said,  "  I 
find  no  fault  in  Him."  The  Pharisees  were  unable  to 
bring  any  accusation  against  Him,  or  to  convince  Him 
of  sin  ;  but  it  was  only  the  apostles  who  were  able 
to  testify  of  the  person  of  Jesus  ;  and  remarkable  it  is, 
that  that  disciple  who  was  most  intimately  acquainted 
with  the  humanity  of  our  blessed  Saviour — he  who 
leant  on  the  bosom  of  Jesus — was  the  disciple  who 
most  emphatically  testified  that  they  had  beheld  the 
glory  as  of  the  only  begotten  of  the   Father.      And 


24  A  BOOK  REVELATION 

the  testimony  of  the  friends  of  the  Bible  is  of  great 
importance  when  we  remember  this — that  the  friends 
of  the  Bible  were  not  born  friends  of  the  Bible — 
were  once  strangers  to  the  Word,  and  enemies  of  the 
Word  ;  but  that  there  was  given  to  them  light  from 
above,  and  a  conviction  which  nothing  in  this  world 
can  shake.  Another  peculiarity  about  the  friends  of 
the  Bible  is  this — that  every  one  of  them  is  an  inde- 
pendent witness.  Every  one  of  them  can  say  like  the 
men  of  Samaria,  "  Now  we  believe  the  Bible,  not 
because  we  have  been  so  taught  from  our  infancy 
.  .  .  nor  because  of  the  testimony  of  the  Church  and 
its  ministers  ;  but  because  we  have  seen  it  ourselves, 
and  heard  its  voice,  and  are  convinced  that  it  is  the 
Word  of  God.  For  that  light,  which  shines  into  every 
one  that  believes,  is  the  same  light  which  shone  in 
those  who  knew  Him,  and  now  shines  in  the  original 
testimony  of  those  who  bore  witness  unto  Him, — 
that  wc  may  believe  that  this  is  indeed  the  Christ, 
the  Son  of  God,  and  that  believing  we  may  have 
life  through  His  name." 

Thus,  when  the  whole  world  acknowledges  the 
peculiarity  of  the  book,  and  when  we  know  the 
reason  of  that  peculiarity,  we  contrast  it  with  all 
other  books.  All  other  books  are  ephemeral — simply 
pamphlets  which  come  and  go.  This  is  for  all 
ages.  Others  address  themselves  to  a  limited  sphere 
of  mankind  whether  of  race,  or  of  learning,  or  of  class. 
This  speaks  to  all  mankind.  Others,  in  the  course 
of  centuries,  are  exhausted  and  all  that  is  valuable 
in  them  is  absorbed.  This  book  is  inexhaustible. 
The  mine  is  deep,  the  more  we  search,  the  more  are 
there  brought  out  treasures  of  gold  and  silver  from 
its  hidden  depths.     Other  books  contain  errors,  which 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY  25 

have  to  be  refuted,  and  imperfections  which  have  to 
be  supplemented.  This  book  is  Hke  gold  tried  in 
the  fire.  And  not  merely  is  it  free  from  error,  but  it 
contains  in  itself  a  rectifying  power  which  is  able  to 
cope  with  every  error  and  heresy,  as  it  arises  in  the 
history  of  mankind  ;  and  this,  because  it  is  God's 
book. 

A  revelation  from  God.  Do  we  require  a  revela- 
tion from  God  ?  The  wonderful  gift  of  reason,  that 
beautiful  light  and  noble  instrument  with  which  God 
Himself  has  endowed  us,  is  indeed  most  precious,  but 
it  is  the  lesser  light.  It  is  to  shine  in  the  realm  of 
this  world,  and  has  to  do  with  the  things  of  time. 
It  is  capable  of  receiving  light  from  above.  It  is  not 
light  creative,  but  light  receptive.  Two  very  powerful 
testimonies  have  been  given  to  this  by  men  who  are 
acknowledged  in  modern  times  to  be  stars  of  the  first 
magnitude  in  the  horizon  of  philosophy.  The  one  was 
Kant,  a  man  of  the  most  subtle  analysis.  He  wrote 
thus  to  a  friend.  The  extract  has  not  been  published 
in  any  of  his  biographies,  but  was  mentioned,,  recently, 
in  an  Augsburg  paper.  He  said,  "  You  do  well  in 
that  you  base  your  peace  and  piety  on  the  gospels, 
for  in  the  gospels,  and  in  the  gospels  alone,  is  the 
source  of  deep  spiritual  truths,  after  reason  has 
measured  out  its  whole  territory  in  vain."  And 
another  great  leader  of  thought,  the  pantheistic 
metaphysician  Hegel,  on  his  death-bed,  would  have 
no  book  read  to  him  but  the  Bible  ;  and  said  that  if 
God  were  to  prolong  his  life  he  would  make  this 
book  his  study,  for  in  it  he  found  what  mere  reason 
could  not  discover.  His  favourite  hymn  during  those 
dying  days  was  a  German  hymn  of  which  the  bearing 
is,  "Jesus,  draw  me  entirely  unto  thyself" 


26  A  BOOK  REVELATION 

PVom  above  there  comes  revelation.  "  Eye  hath 
not  seen  " — observation  cannot  discover — "  ear  hath 
not  heard  " — tradition  and  the  learning  of  the  past 
ages  cannot  transmit — "  neither  hath  entered  the 
heart  of  man" — genius  and  intuition  cannot  find 
out — "what  God  hath  prepared  for  them  that 
love  Him,  but  unto  us  He  hath  revealed  it  by  His 
Spirit." 

Now,  of  those  things  that  are  revealed  to  us  by 
the  Spirit  of  God,  and  which  are  contained  in  the 
Scriptures,  from  Genesis  even  to  the  culminating  book 
of  the  Apocalypse,  I  wish  now  to  speak  to  you  ;  and 
I  single  out  six  great  things — I  do  not  like  to  call 
them  ideas,  because  they  are  realities — which  have 
been  revealed  to  us  in  the  Bible. 

The  first  is  God.  The  world  in  its  ignorance  and 
folly  knows  not  God.  The  world  in  its  wisdom 
knows  not  God.  The  world  in  its  sinfulness  knows 
not  God.  The  world  in  its  virtue,  Pharisaic  and 
stoical,  knows  not  God.  Nature  does  not  reveal 
God.  Nature,  when  it  pleases  God  through  it  to 
speak  to  the  heart,  reveals  the  existence,  the  power, 
the  goodness,  and  the  wisdom  of  God  ;  but  nature 
does  not  reveal  God  Himself  Polytheism  did  not 
know  the  one  God,  but  only  an  abstract,  a  supreme 
force  or  reason.  Atheism  denies  God.  Pantheism 
degrades  God.  Positivism  ignores  God.  Scripture 
reveals  God.  The  idea  of  God  that  Scripture  gives 
to  us  is  so  majestic,  and  yet  so  heart-winning,  is  so 
sublime  and  yet  so  simple,  is  so  full  of  variety  and 
apparent  contradictions,  and  yet  so  united,  that  all 
those  who,  by  the  grace  of  God,  have  learnt  from  the 
Scripture,  feel  and  are  convinced  that  God  has  re- 
vealed Himself  to  them.     Infinite  and  incomprehens- 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY  27 

ible,  dwelling  in  light  that  is  unapproachable, — He  yet 
condescends  to  make  Himself  known  to  the  children 
of  men,  even  to  babes.  Eternal  and  omnipresent, 
He  lives  with  us  from  day  to  day,  and  is  the 
home  and  sanctuary  of  His  people,  in  all  genera- 
tions, holy,  so  that  He  chargeth  even  the  angels 
with  folly,  and  yet  the  Redeemer  and  Saviour  of 
sinners,  just,  and  the  justifier  of  the  guilty,  terrible  in 
His  majesty  and  in  His  judgment,  tender  and  com- 
passionate, merciful,  patient,  and  long-suffering,  in- 
finitely blessed  in  Himself,  and  needing  nothing 
external  for  His  life  and  for  His  joy, — and  yet  weep- 
ing over  Jerusalem  and  sighing  over  His  sinful  nation  ; 
stretching  forth  His  hands  against  a  gainsaying  people, 
and,  again,  calling  heaven  and  earth  to  sympathise  with 
Him,  all  fields  and  all  trees  to  rejoice  with  Him,  be- 
cause He  has  found  the  one  that  was  lost,  and  has 
quickened  him  that  was  dead  ;  revealing  Himself  to 
us,  and  making  known  to  us  His  secret  thoughts  ; 
and  yet,  after  all  His  revelations,  we  say,  "  Who  is 
like  unto  God?  Oh,  the  depth  of  the  riches."  He 
tells  Israel  that  they  must  make  themselves  no  image 
of  God,  for  they  have  at  no  time  seen  any  form  or 
similitude  of  Him.  But  He  Himself  speaks  to  Israel 
in  such  a  concrete  way.  He  has  eyes,  and  He  sees  ; 
He  has  ears,  and  He  listens  to  the  voice  of  our  suppli- 
cation. The  sacrifice  of  Noah  ascends  unto  Him,  and 
He  smells  a  sweet  savour.  He  has  hands,  and  they 
are  stretched  forth  to  rescue  the  perishing  people. 
He  arises  and  awakes  and  rouses  Himself  out  of  His 
sleep,  and  hastens  to  deliver  the  godly.  He  re- 
members His  promises  of  old.  He  sometimes  forgets 
to  be  gracious  and  to  hear.  It  repents  Him  that  He 
has  ever  created    man  ;  and  then   He  rejoices  as   if 


28  A  BOOK  REVELATION 

there  were  no  joy  for  Him  except  in  the  salvation  and 
in  the  blessedness  of  His  people.  Who  would  ever 
venture  to  speak  thus  of  God  ?  But,  Scripture  speak- 
ing thus  of  God,  there  is  no  danger  of  the  simplest 
human  being  misunderstanding  it.  The  spirituality 
of  our  human  God  far  transcends  all  the  ethereal 
speculation  of  human  wisdom.  He  compares  Himself 
to  a  father :  "  As  a  father  pitieth  his  children." 
He  compares  Himself  to  a  mother  that  is  not  able  to 
forget  her  child.  He  compares  Himself  to  a  bride- 
groom that  rejoices  over  his  bride.  He  speaks  of 
Himself  as  a  friend  who  cannot  do  anything,  unless 
He  communicates  it  first  to  His  chosen  ones.  Oh, 
when  the  Bible  brings  us  God  revealing  Himself,  it 
is  no  abstraction  ;  it  is  no  philosophy  :  it  is  full  of 
life  and  full  of  love  and  enters  into  the  very  inmost 
heart  of  man.  There  is  nothing  so  sublime,  and 
there  is  nothing  so  pathetic. 

But  we  must  go  still  deeper  into  this  subject. 
God  reveals  Himself.  Knowledge  of  God  in  the 
sense  in  which  metaphysicians  take  it,  God  denies  to 
be  possible  for  human  beings.  As  metaphysicians 
speak  of  the  being  of  God,  of  the  essence  of  God,  of 
the  substance  of  God,  and  the  necessity  of  God's  exist- 
ence, it  is  impossible  for  us  to  understand  such  things. 
Neither  man  nor  angel  can  comprehend  God,  or 
possess  an  intellectual  knowledge  of  God,  as  of  some- 
thing that  he  is  able  to  estimate.  There  was  no 
light  in  the  Holy  of  Holies,  for,  "  I  the  Lord  dwell 
in  darkness  ;  "  and  none  can  know  God.  But  God 
reveals  Himself  as  He  wishes  to  reveal  Himself,  not  to 
the  intellect  only,  but  to  the  whole  man.  Where 
mind  and  will  meet,  in  their  central  unity  in  the  heart, 
there  it  is  that  God   makes   Himself  known   by  the 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY  29 

Scriptures.  "  The  fool  hath  said  in  his  heart  there 
is  no  God,"  and  only  the  fool  thinks  that  he  can 
know  God  as  a  philosophical  study.  Both  reason 
and  will  combine  in  the  heart ;  and  the  children  of 
God  with  the  heart  believe  that  God  has  sj^okcn  to 
them.  And  therefore  you  will  never  find  in  the 
Scripture  the  idea  of  God  or  the  substance  of  God — 
none  of  those  metaphysical,  highflown  abstractions 
and  impossibilities  ;  but  the  Scripture  speaks  of  the 
dear  face  of  God.  That  is  all  we  want.  We  want 
to  see  His  face.  That  is  all  we  want  of  father  and 
mother,  and  wife  and  child.  And  the  Scripture 
speaks  of  the  name  of  God.  That  is  the  aspect  of 
God  manwards,  and  therefore  you  must  never,  when 
you  read  the  Bible  and  when  you  read  God,  think 
that  the  God  that  is  mentioned  there  is  the  God  of 
whom  the  world  speaks — that  abstraction,  that  idea, 
that  power,  that  heaven,  that  "  providence."  Oh  no, 
it  is  Jehovah  ;  it  is  Christ ;  it  is  God  in  His  aspect 
towards  us.  This,  He  has  revealed  to  us.  Therefore 
it  is  a  great  mistake  to  say  that  the  religion  of  the 
Old  Testament  is  monotheism.  The  religion  of 
the  Turks  is  monotheism.  The  religion  of  the  Old 
Testament  is  Jehovahism.  We  are  taught  that  this 
Jehovah,  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac  and  Jacob,  who 
brought  us  out  of  Egypt  and  led  us  into  the  land 
of  Canaan,  is  the  God,  and  also  that  Jesus  Christ 
is  the  true  God,  and  everlasting  life.  For  God  (as 
we  have  no  better  name  for  it)  is  person.  Do  you 
know  what  is  implied  in  being  a  person  ?  We  are 
but  of  yesterday.  A  few  years  ago  we  had  no 
existence.  By  degrees  we  become  self-conscious 
and  distinguish  ourselves  from  all  other  human 
beings,  and  from  all  the  things  that  are  around  us. 


30  A  BOOK  REVELATION 

Only  by  degrees  and  imperfectly  do  we  find  out 
what  we  are,  what  is  within  us,  our  thoughts,  our 
will,  our  character,  our  reason,  our  emotions  ;  but 
never,  at  any  given  moment  of  our  earthly  life,  are  we 
in  full  consciousness  of  our  own  individuality.  Never 
in  any  given  moment  of  our  life  do  we  see  all  that 
is  within  us  and  all  the  thoughts  and  experiences  of 
our  past  ;  and,  continually,  do  we  feel  that  there  are 
influences  from  without,  and  that  there  are  dark 
things  within,  which  interfere  with  our  individuality, 
and  do  not  belong  to  us.  But  now  rise  for  a  moment 
to  a  different  and  eternal  sphere.  Think  of  Him 
who  is  from  everlasting  to  everlasting,  who,  before 
any  of  the  worlds  were  created  by  His  will,  said,  "  I," 
who  is  always  conscious  of  His  thoughts,  and  of  His 
purposes,  and  of  the  perfections  and  attributes  which 
are  in  Him.  Therefore  does  God  continually  call 
Himself,  "  I."  "  I  am."  "  I  am  the  Lord."  "  Then 
shall  ye  know  that  I  am  he ; "  and  in  the  New 
Testament  "  Be  not  afraid  ;  it  is  I  ; "  "  Unless  you 
believe  that  I  am  he  ;  "  down  to  the  last  chapter  of 
the  book  of  Revelation,  where  He  says,  "  I,  Jesus." 
Now  of  this  one — that  is  "  I  "  the  only  one  of  whom 
we  can  say  in  perfection  that  He  is  a  person, — will 
you  not  admit  of  Him  what  you  have  to  admit  of  the 
youngest  child  and  of  the  most  limited  human  being, 
that,  unless  He  chooses  to  tell  you  His  thoughts 
and  His  will,  you  cannot  know  them  ?  You  may  guess 
them,  but  you  cannot  know  them.  He  speaks. 
And  if  God  is  person,  will  you  not  allow  to  that 
person  the  right  which  you  claim  for  yourself? 
There  are  some  to  whom  you  open  yourself,  and 
there  arc  others  to  whom  you  cannot  open  yourself 
"  How  is  it  that  thou  wilt  manifest  thyself  unto  us, 


A  .V  IN  TRINSIC  NE  CESS  I  TV  31 

and  not  unto  the  world  ?  "  "  The  secret  of  the  Lord 
is  with  them  that  fear  him."  "  The  father  and  I 
will  come."  God  as  a  person,  in  His  sovereignty 
and  of  His  abundant  love,  reveals  Himself. 

But  I  must  pass  on  now  to  the  second  fact — 
Man.  Apart  from  Scripture  we  do  not  know  that 
the  world  was  created  by  God.  The  wisest  Greeks 
and  Romans  did  not  know  it.  No  cosmography 
has  ever  been  discovered  in  which  there  is  the 
slightest  trace  of  the  idea  that  God  created  the 
heavens  and  the  earth.  Matter  was  considered  to 
have  existed  from  eternity.  A  speculation,  which  has 
been  again  revived  in  our  own  days,  spoke  of  atoms 
out  of  which  by  degrees  the  present  cosmos  was 
shaped.  If  God  had  wished  to  state  at  the  beginning 
of  Scripture,  "  Now  I  begin  to  speak,  and  here  ends 
all  human  wisdom,  and  where  human  wisdom  ends 
revelation  begins," — if  God  had  wished,  as  it  were, 
to  place  a  barrier  to  separate  His  book  from  all  the 
books  of  the  world.  He  could  not  have  done  it  better 
and  more  effectively  than  He  has  done  it,  by  de- 
claring "  In  the  beginning  God  created  the  heavens 
and  the  earth."  That  single  sentence  separates 
Scripture  from  all  the  rest  of  human  wisdom  and 
productions  ;  and  the  creation  of  man  in  the  image 
of  God,  with  majesty  and  solemnity,  the  whole 
Godhead  as  it  v/ere  retreating  into  the  depth  of  its 
wisdom,  and  of  its  love,  and  saying,  as  it  had  never 
said  before,  "  Let  us  make  man  in  our  image," — 
only  Scripture  reveals.  And  the  fall  and  sinfulness 
of  man  Scripture  reveals.  It  shows  man  his  guilt, 
without  degrading  him,  like  the  cynics.  It  shows 
man  his  misery,  without  driving  him  to  despair.  It 
shows   man   his   exaltation,  and   yet   ascribes   all  the 


32  A  BOOK  REVELAl^ION 

glory  and  honour  to  God.  Instead  of  dwelling  on 
speculations  as  to  the  pre -Adamite  man,  why 
will  not  the  men  of  science  tell  us  what  the  post- 
Adamite  man  will  be — the  future  man  ?  Scripture 
tells  us  what  the  deutero- Adamites  will  be — the  future 
of  humanity,  when  Christ  shall  appear,  and  when 
they  who  are  Christ's  shall  be  made  manifest  ;  and 
as  we  have  borne  the  image  of  the  earthly  Adam, 
so  we  shall  bear  the  image  of  the  heavenly — not 
through  any  evolution,  but  by  the  renewing  of  the 
Holy  Ghost,  and  by  the  resurrection  power  of  the 
great  Son  of  God.  Scripture  reveals  to  us — 
man. 
/  The  third  thing  that  the  Bible  reveals  is — Grace. 
The  world  does  not  know  what  grace  is.  Grace  is 
not  pity  ;  grace  is  not  indulgence  or  leniency  ;  grace 
is  not  long-suffering.  Grace  is  as  infinite  an  attribute 
of  God  as  is  His  power,  and  as  is  His  wisdom. 
Grace  manifests  itself  in  righteousness.  Grace  has  a 
righteousness  which  is  based  upon  atonement  or  sub- 
stitution, and  through  the  whole  Scripture  there  run 
the  golden  thread  of  grace,  and  the  scarlet  thread  of 
atonement,  which  together  reveal  to  us  for  man  a 
righteousness  that  comes  down  from  heaven. 

Here  is  the  great  difference  between  the  Bible 
and  all  religions  of  the  world — that,  whereas  man 
tries  to  make  himself  more  worthy  of  the  Deity,  the 
Bible  declares  to  us  that  we  begin  with  perfection  of 
righteousness, — even  the  best  robe  descending  down 
to  us  through  the  love  of  the  Father  and  the  atoning 
death  of  our  Saviour  Jesus  Christ. 

I  pass  on  to  the  fourth  idea — Incarnation  !  Some 
people  have  spoken  as  if  the  Hindoos  and  the  Bud- 
dhists have  also  the  idea  of  incarnation.      Very  few 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY  33 

words  are  required  to  completely  demolish  this  asser- 
tion. In  the  Hindoo  theology  we  read  of  avatars 
or  gods  assuming  monstrous  and  multiform  appear- 
ances for  a  definite  purpose  —  as  of  rewarding  a 
favourite,  or  of  bringing  justice  and  vengeance  on  an 
enemy.  But  to  the  fact  of  incarnation,  as  it  is 
revealed  to  us  in  Christ,  these  grotesque  fancies  have 
not  the  slightest  resemblance ;  and  as  for  Buddhism, 
it  cannot  teach  incarnation,  because  it  is  atheism, 
and  does  not  believe  in  God  at  all,  and  therefore 
those  Buddhs  that  appear  from  time  to  time  are 
simply  men  of  great  wisdom  and  virtue  who,  after 
teaching  for  a  certain  number  of  years,  vanish  again 
into  what  they  consider  to  be  the  greatest  blessed- 
ness— non-existence.  But  what  is  revealed  to  us  in 
Scripture  ?  That  the  Word  was  made  flesh,  and 
dwelt  among  us,  that  God  was  manifest  in  the  flesh, 
that  the  Son  of  God  took  upon  Him  our  nature,  and 
was  born  of  a  woman,  and  that  this  wonderful  per- 
son,— eternal,  and  appearing  in  time, — infinite,  and 
clothing  Himself  with  humanity, — is  Son  of  God  and 
yet  true  man,  two  natures  in  one  person,  and  that 
He  is  to  be  such  for  ever  and  for  ever.  And  that  as 
truly  as  the  Son  of  God  lived  here,  and  died  upon 
the  cross,  so  truly  is  the  Son  of  Man  now  sitting  at 
the  right  hand  of  the  Majesty  ;  and  that  such  a 
glorious  being  is  now  the  Mediator  rooted  in  the 
very  centre  of  humanity,  and  rooted  in  the  very 
centre  of  the  Godhead — oh,  what  a  wonderful  reve- 
lation is  this.  And  in  Scripture  this  is  asserted  not 
merely  in  the  gospels  and  in  the  epistles  ; — but  from 
the  beginning  of  Genesis,  through  the  whole  of 
the  Old  Testament,  there  runs  the  announcement, 
there  runs  the  preparation — there  is  the  instalment,^ 

I) 


34  A  BOOK  RE  VELA  TION 

SO  to  speak,  of  this  great  fact,  there  is  the  angel  of 
His  presence  in  whom  is  the  name  of  God,  as  in  the 
marvellous  vision  that  appeared  to  Isaiah  when  he 
saw  also  the  glory  of  Christ,  as  he  beheld  the  Lord 
sitting  on  a  throne  high  and  lifted  up. 

I  come  to  the  fifth  point.  Nowadays  people  are 
always  talking  about  morality,  about  ethics.  Oh, 
they  do  not  want  dogma,  they  want  ethics.  Even 
into  our  pulpits  this  unscriptural  word  has  forced  its 
way.  Let  me  assure  you  that  if  an  idea  cannot  be 
clothed  in  Scripture  words,  you  may  be  sure  that 
this  idea  has  departed  from  Scripture  truth  and 
fulness.  What  is  there  so  great  and  noble  in  the 
words  "  morality,"  "  ethics,"  or  as  the  Germans  call 
it,  sittlicJikeit.  They  all  mean  the  same  thing — 
custom.  Ethos,  customs  ;  Diores,  manners.  Sittlich- 
keit  is  that  which  is  become  the  habit,  or,  in  other 
words,  the  highest  idea  that  man  has  of  rectitude, 
character,  and  conduct.  It  is  very  noble,  it  is  very 
good,  it  is  very  great,  but  after  all  it  does  not  rise 
above  the  level  of  humanity.  Not  so  with  the 
Bible.  An  ancient  Jewish  teacher  made  this  re- 
mark :  "  There  arc  several  hundreds  of  precepts, 
there  are  several  hundreds  of  prohibitions  in  the 
Scripture,  but  all  these  hundreds  (I  think  about  six 
hundred)  may  be  reduced  to  ten — the  ten  words 
which  God  spoke ;  and  these  ten  words  may  be 
reduced  to  two- — -love  to  God,  and  in  God,  love 
to  your  neighbour;  and  these  two  may  be  reduced 
to  one,  '  the  just  shall  live  by  faith.'  "  He  was  not 
far  from  the  kingdom  of  God.  The  Bible  speaks 
not  of  morality,  but  the  Bible  says,  "  Enoch  walked 
with  God."  God  appeared  to  Abraham  and  said,  "  I 
am  thy  God.      Walk  thou  before  me  and  be  perfect." 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY  35 

And  what  are  the  ten  commandments  ?  They 
are  not  founded  on  an  abstract  idea,  not  upon  what 
the  Greek  calls  the  good,  the  true,  the  beautiful. 
"  God  spoke  these  words  and  said,  I  am  the  Lord 
thy  God  which  brought  thee  out  of  the  land  of 
Egypt,  out  of  the  house  of  bondage.  Thou  shalt 
have  no  other  gods  beside  me."  And  in  each  of 
the  first  five  commandments  it  is,  "  The  Lord  thy 
God." 

The  Bible  enters  into  all  the  details  of  human 
life.  The  Bible  goes  into  small  minutiae  of  our  con- 
duct and  of  our  circumstances,  but  upon  each  of 
the  Bible  commands  is  written,  "  I  am  the  Lord." 
"  Thou  shalt  put  no  stumbling-block  in  the  way  of 
the  blind."  I  am  the  Lord — identified  with  this 
blind  man.  And  Jesus  says  to  us  in  that  Sermon 
on  the  Mount  that  is  so  much  admired  for  its 
morality — but  morality  is  not  there — something 
much  higher  than  morality  and  inclusive  of  moral- 
ity, "  As  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven  is  perfect  ; " 
and  then  He  says  not  merely  that,  but  "  Abide  in 
me  and  I  in  you,  for  without  me  ye  can  do  nothing." 
And  then  a  man  like  the  apostle  Paul  says,  "  To  me 
to  live  is  Christ."  Where  are  the  ethics  now  ?  That 
person  the  object  of  my  life,  the  joy  of  my  life,  the 
source  of  my  life,  nay,  the  very  life  of  my  com- 
munion with  God,  our  Wisdom  says,  "I  am  man" 
—  "Homo  sum" — and  everything  that  is  human 
interests  me.  The  Bible  wants  to  make  us  men  of 
God. 

And,  lastly,  the  Bible  gives  to  us  a  revelation 
of  God's  kingdom,  and  by  "  kingdom  "  do  not 
understand  an  abstraction  of  principles,  the  pre- 
valence of  ideas,  not  even  the  acceptance  of  Chris- 


36  A  BOOK  REVELATION 

tianity.  That  is  not  meant  by  the  kingdom  of 
God.  The  kingdom  of  God  means  the  kingdom  of 
God — God  the  King,  Christ  his  vice-regent,  Satan 
his  adversary,  mankind  the  centre,  the  earth  the 
territory,  Israel  the  centre  of  the  nations,  the  trans- 
figured Church  with  Christ  the  Son  of  Man  come 
down  to  reign  on  the  earth.  We  are  waiting  for  the 
kingdom  when  He  who  first  came  out  of  Bethlehem 
shall  come  down  from  heaven.  His  saints  with 
Him,  and  Israel  converted  unto  Him,  and  all  the 
nations  of  the  earth  walking  in  the  light  of  God,  when 
His  will  shall  be  done  on  earth  as  it  is  in  heaven. 
This  promise,  this  hope,  is  traceable  from  the  very 
first  promise  about  the  seed  of  the  woman  that 
should  bruise  the  head  of  the  serpent,  to  the  20th 
chapter  of  the  book  of  Revelation  when  that  very 
serpent  is  mentioned  again — how  he  shall  be  bound, 
and  Christ  shall  gain  the  victory. 

And  now  when  I  bring  before  you  these  things 
which  no  human  reason  could  ever  have  invented, 
which  no  human  ingenuity  could  ever  have  discovered, 
and  which,  even  after  they  are  revealed  to  us,  must  be 
made  clear  to  us  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  remember  that 
they  are  not  stated  in  Scripture  in  a  systematic  and 
methodical  form ; — but  in  a  method  far  more  wonderful 
and  convincing.  Just  as  in  nature  there  is  the  most 
harmonious  irregularity — not  like  a  systematic  and 
botanical  garden — ^just  as  in  nature  all  the  different 
powers  co-exist  and  work  together  in  a  way  which 
we  are  not  able  to  understand,  light  and  gravitation 
and  electricity  and  all  that  God  has  caused  to  exist 
in  order  to  uphold  the  universe — so  is  it  in  the 
Scriptures  that  from  beginning  to  end  at  sundry 
times  and  in  divers  manners  by  gradual  manifestations, 


AN  INTRINSIC  NECESSITY 


acts,    miracles,    words,   commandments,    institutions, 
God  has  unfolded  His  whole  counsel. 

Now  in  conclusion  I  will  say  only  this.  The 
Bible  from  beginning  to  end  ascribes  glory  to  God. 
He  is  the  first  and  He  is  the  last.  He  is  the 
beginning  and  He  is  the  ending.  "  Glory  to  God  in 
the  highest."  That  is  written  upon  every  page  of 
Scripture.  Of  Him  and  through  Him  and  to  Him 
are  all  things.      It  is  the  Word  of  God. 

I  do  not  say  that  the  Bible  contains  the  Word  of 
God.  I  say  that  the  Bible  is  the  Word  of  God.  I 
think  it  a  most  erroneous  and  dangerous  thing  to 
say  that  the  Bible  contains  the  Word  of  God.  The 
Bible  with  its  history,  with  its  laws,  with  its  poetry,  i 
with  its  maxims,  with  its  biographies,  with  its  epistles, 
with  everything  that  is  in  it,  is  the  Word  of  God.  I 
wish  to  notice  the  human  element,  the  individuality 
of  the  men  who  wrote,  the  gradual  growth,  the  pro- 
gressive manifestations  of  Scripture,  in  connection 
with  the  person  of  Christ  and  the  work  of  the  Holy 
Ghost.  May  the  children  of  God  remember  me  in 
prayer  that  the  Lord's  blessing  may  be  with  us. 


Ill 


THE  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,   HISTORICAL,  ETC., 
ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE 

The  Bible  is  the  Word  of  God — Pascal's  statement  in  regard  to  it — The 
relation  which  the  human,  historical,  and  progressive  elements  of 
the  Biljle  have  to  the  fact  that  it  is  the  Word  of  God — God's  acts 
have  priority,  not  only  in  time,  but  also  in  causality— He  prepared 
a  nation  for  the  coming  of  the  Deliverer  :  I.  By  creating  through  the 
law  the  feeling  of  the  need  of  a  Saviour  :  2.  By  showing  through  the 
types,  etc.,  the  way  of  expiation  and  of  approach  to  God:  3.  By 
pre-figuring  Christ  by  living  men  and  also  by  things,  as  the 
brazen  serpent  —  A  drama,  not  a  monologue — Israel  responds 
either  in  faith  or  unbelief — Long  pauses  in  direct  miraculous  inter- 
ference— The  historical  books  from  Joshua  to  Chronicles  called  by 
Jews  the  Former  Prophets — In  the  histories  there  is  shown  the  very 
heart  of  man,  the  inner  motives — Absolute  judgment  pronounced 
on  men — Wickedness  described,  not  to  attract,  but,  in  its  naked 
hideousness,  to  repel — The  Bible  written  by  men  for  men — Their 
individuality  and  circumstances  clearly  seen — The  Scripture  shows 
us  the  humanity  of  the  writers,  in  the  very  act  of  their  being  in- 
spired and  receiving  the  Word  of  God  from  above — The  books  of 
Moses  plainly  the  foundation  of  the  Psalms,  etc. — The  prophets 
found  on  those  before  them — The  growth  of  the  Bible — Christ's 
double  relation  to  the  Scriptures. 

I  CONTINUE  my  subject  this  morning — Scripture  is 
the  Word  of  God.  In  my  last  address  I  spoke  to 
you  chiefly  of  Scripture  as  a  divine  revelation.  Revela- 
tion descends  from  above.  It  speaks  to  us  out  of 
the  fulness  of  divine  omniscience.  It  reveals  to  us 
spiritual  and  heavenly  realities.      It  unveils  to  us  a 


RELATION  OF  HUMAN  ELEMENTS  TO  DIVINE      39 

world  which  we  never  could  have  discovered  by  our 
own  research.  Here  there  is  not  a  steep  and  laborious 
ascent  which  reason  attempts.  Here  there  is  not  the 
bold  flight  of  genius,  intuition,  or  imagination.  Here 
the  things  which  eye  hath  not  seen,  nor  ear  heard, 
neither  have  entered  the  heart  of  man,  the  things  of 
God  which  God  freely  gives  to  those  that  believe, 
are  unveiled  to  us  by  the  Spirit  of  God  who  searcheth 
the  deep  things  of  God.  It  is  on  account  of  the 
things  which  are  revealed  to  us  in  the  Holy  Scriptures 
that  the  children  of  God  recognise  in  Scripture  the 
Word  of  the  Most  High.  Here,  as  we  saw,  there  is 
revealed  to  us  the  true  and  living  God,  as  Pascal 
wrote  upon  the  memorial  that  he  always  carried 
about  with  him — not  the  God  of  the  philosophers, 
of  the  wise,  but  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob,  whom  Athens  did  not  know,  whom  Samaria 
did  not  understand,  the  true  and  living  God  Jehovah. 
He  reveals  Himself  in  this  Word,  and  we  know  Him 
— that  God  is  light,  that  God  is  love,  that  God  is 
Father,  Son,  and  Spirit.  Plere  is  revealed  to  us 
what  no  human  wisdom  could  discover — creation, 
and,  without  the  knowledge  of  creation,  man  not 
merely  walks  in  ignorance  and  in  blindness,  but  he 
walks  also  in  bondage  and  in  servitude,  as  if  there  was 
a  blind  force  and  fate  surrounding  him  on  every  side. 
Here  is  revealed  to  us  the  origin  of  man,  the  condition 
of  man,  and  the  glorious  prospect  which  God  in  His 
wonderful  love  has  put  before  us.  Here  the  great 
mystery  is  disclosed  as  we  find  it  in  no  other 
nation,  and  in  no  other  book  of  literature — divine 
grace  through  righteousness,  by  a  sacrifice  bringing 
to  us  the  salvation  of  God  in  all  fulness,  not  as 
the  heathen  nations   dreamt  of  a   sacrifice   by  which 


40  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

they  had  to  appease  the  gods, — but  a  sacrifice  which 
God  makes,  suffering  in  the  person  of  Mis  own  Son, — 
not  as  the  heathen  imagined  sacrifices,  services,  self- 
denials,  which  gradually  and  slowly  may  lead  to  the 
goal  of  the  acceptance  of  the  Deity, — but,  beginning 
from  the  very  beginning,  with  the  love  of  God  and 
our  full  acceptance  in  Christ.  Here  is  that  wonder- 
ful mystery  of  godliness,  the  incarnation,  of  which 
there  is  no  trace  to  be  found  anywhere  else — that 
God  was  manifest  in  the  flesh,  and  that  the  Son  of 
God  became  man,  to  be  man  for  ever  and  ever,  the 
true  Mediator  between  God  and  man.  We  have 
here  the  new  life  of  God  having  communion  with 
us,  and  here  the  idea  of  the  kingdom  of  God, 
inward  and  spiritual,  outward  and  manifested,  having 
for  its  two  agents  the  nation  of  Israel  and  the 
Church  of  Christ,  and  waiting  yet  to  be  revealed  at 
the  second  appearing  of  our  great  God  and  Saviour. 
It  is  because  we  have  found  these  things  in  the 
Holy  Scriptures,  and  because  the  Spirit  of  God  has 
made  these  things  clear  to  our  minds  and  our  hearts, 
that  we  find  in  the  whole  Scripture,  large,  capacious, 
varied  as  it  is,  one  spirit  which  pervades  it,  one  light 
which  illumines  it,  one  hope  which  animates  it,  and 
that  wc  hear  in  it  the  voice  of  one,  even  of  that 
Eternal  One  who,  having  in  His  own  mind  purposed 
in  Himself  the  great  plan  of  our  salvation  and  of 
His  glory,  has  spoken  to  us  and  caused  it  to  be 
written  for  our  instruction. 

But  now  I  must  look  more  particularly  at  the 
book  in  its  various  parts,  and  see  the  relation  which 
the  human,  historical,  and  progressive  elements  of 
that  book  have  to  the  fiict  that  it  is  the  Word 
of  God. 


ELEMEN'J'S  TO  THE  DIVINE  41 

The  truths  of  which  I  have  spoken  are  not  put 
before  us  in  the  Scripture  in  a  systematic  and 
methodical  form,  so  that  doctrine  succeeds  doctrine, 
and  that  the  facts  and  the  promises  of  God  are 
arranged  for  our  learning.  There  is  in  Scripture,  as 
I  said  before,  the  same  harmonious  irregularity  as 
there  is  in  nature.  Above  all,  Scripture  shows  to  us 
a  history  in  which  God  Himself  was  the  great  agent. 
He  takes  the  initiative.  His  acts  have  priority  not 
merely  in  time  but  also  in  causality.  After  the  fall 
of  man  God  begins,  by  giving  His  promise,  and  after 
the  three  great  catastrophes  or  judgments — the 
expulsion  from  the  Garden  of  Eden,  the  judgment  of 
the  Flood  in  the  days  of  Noah,  and  the  dispersion  of 
the  human  race  at  the  Tower  of  Babel, — there  begins, 
in  the  call  of  Abraham,  the  golden  history  of  elec- 
tion and  grace  which  does  not  end  until  the  appearing 
of  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  outpouring  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
and  concludes,  when  the  apostle  Paul  had  become 
preacher  of  the  Gospel,  not  in  Jerusalem  only,  but  in 
Rome  also.  God  chooses  Abraham  and  delivers 
Israel  out  of  Egypt.  God  guides  Israel  through  the 
wilderness,  and  brings  them  into  the  promised  land, 
and  raises  up  unto  them  judge  after  judge,  and 
chooses  David  from  the  sheepfold,  and  allows  Israel  to 
go  into  captivity,  and  brings  them  back  again  through 
the  instrumentality  of  His  servant  Cyrus,  and  sends 
the  angel  to  Zachariah  and  to  Joseph.  God  sends 
His  own  Son.  God  sends  the  Spirit.  A  series  of 
acts  direct  from  God  Himself.  As  God  acts,  so  He 
speaks.  There  is  interference  of  God  in  action,  inter- 
ference of  God  in  revelation  and  oracle.  He  gives 
His  message  to  His  servants  the  prophets.  He  gives 
His   law  and   embodies    His   thoughts  and  His    pur- 


42  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

poses  in  institutions.  Through  Moses  His  servant 
He  gives  promise  after  promise,  through  a  long  series 
of  history,  for  Christ  did  not  come  immediately  after 
the  fall,  or  immediately  after  the  birth  of  Isaac, 
Christ  came  "  in  the  fulness  of  time."  Century  upon 
century  had  elapsed  ;  and  in  this  history  the  great 
thing  that  God  did  was  that  He  prepared  a  nation, 
Israel,  out  of  which  Jesus  was  to  come.  "  Out  of 
Egypt  have  I  called  my  Son."  He  prepared  this 
nation  which  was  not  better  than  any  other  nation, 
but  which  He  had  chosen  in  His  sovereignty,  first  by 
creating  within  them,  through  the  law,  the  feeling  of 
the  need  of  a  Saviour ;  secondly,  by  showing  to 
them  through  that  very  law,  with  its  types  and 
appointments  and  institutions,  the  way  of  expiation, 
and  the  way  of  approach  to  God.  But  not  merely 
did  He  prepare  the  nation  by  the  law  for  the  coming 
of  Christ,  both  negatively  and  positively,  but  He 
pre-figurcd  Christ  by  living  men, — by  Abel,  by  Isaac, 
by  Moses,  by  David  ;  and  not  merely  by  living  men, 
but  also  by  things,  like  the  brazen  serpent,  and  the 
various  types  which  we  behold  in  the  tabernacle. 
And  those  men  whom  He  sent  to  Israel  pre-figured 
Christ  by  that  in  which  they  resembled  Christ ;  and 
they  also  pre-figurcd  Christ  by  that  which  it  was 
impossible  for  them  to  give  to  Israel — which  only 
Christ  could  give,  so  that  both  their  excellences  and 
their  deficiencies  are  like  arms  stretched  forth  in 
intense  longing  for  the  advent  of  Him  who  was  the 
Only  One — that  was  to  come. 

And  not  only  was  this  done  in  the  history  of 
Israel  and  in  the  words  which  God  had  sent  to 
Israel  from  time  to  time,  but  the  nation  itself  had  to 
be  prepared  not  merely  for  the  first  advent  of  Christ, 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  43 

but  also  for  the  second  advent  of  Christ ;  so  that 
everything  that  is  told  us  of  the  nation  of  Israel, 
which  to  many  of  us  appears  to  be  uninteresting  and 
unimportant,  the  genealogies  of  Israel,  the  different 
statements  that  are  made  about  the  different  localities, 
and  all  the  minute  prophesy  which  speaks  of  their 
restoration  to  their  own  land  and  their  condition  in 
those  days,  are  a  necessary  part  of  the  Word  of  God 
which  will  be  seen  in  all  its  clearness  and  in  all  its 
fulness,  when  that  blessed  time  arrives.  •^ 

But  some  one  may  think,  "  here  all  is  divine. 
God  acts  mostly  in  miracles.  God  speaks  by  visions, 
and  by  direct  revelation.  God  gives  a  pattern  of 
the  tabernacle  which  Moses  was  to  rear,  showing  it  to 
him  on  the  Mount.  All  is  of  God,  divine,  super- 
natural, miraculous."  But  if  we  thus  concluded,  we 
should  have  an  altogether  erroneous  impression.  It 
is  a  drama,  and  not  a  monologue.  Israel  responds. 
Israel  replies  either  in  faith,  or  in  unbelief,  either  in 
obedience,  or  in  disobedience, — either  by  going  the 
path  that  God  appoints,  or,  by  self-will,  going  cir- 
cuitous routes  ;  God  overruling  all  their  unbelief 
and  all  their  unfaithfulness,  for  the  election  of  God 
standeth  sure.  Yet  is  Israel  an  agent,  personal, 
spontaneous. 

And  do  not  imagine  that  miracle  upon  miracle, 
oracle  upon  oracle,  succeeded  in  such  rapid  succession 
that  there  were  no  intervals,  so  to  speak,  of  quiet 
natural  development.  Why,  even  during  the  forty 
years  in  the  wilderness,  the  miraculous  element  was 
not  so  overpowering  that  it  excluded  unbelief.  It 
did  not  force  faith.  There  were,  even  in  those  days, 
men  who  acknowledged  the  hand  of  God,  and  men 
who  explained   all   things   in   such   a   way  that   God 


44  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

was  not  acknowledged.  And  not  merely  were  there 
long  pauses  in  the  period  of  the  Judges,  and  after- 
wards in  the  period  of  the  Kings,  even  as  there 
were  400  years  between  the  end  of  Genesis  and 
the  beginning  of  Exodus,  and  400  years  between 
the  end  of  Malachi  and  the  beginning  of  the  New 
Covenant,  but  during  the  whole  period  of  God's 
dealings  with  Israel  there  was  always  the  divine 
initiative — there  were  always  periods  in  which  the 
divine  interference  paused,  so  to  speak,  to  see  the 
effect  which  it  had  upon  the  people,  and  to  allow  a 
peaceful  development  of  the  nation  in  all  its  varied 
private,  family,  and  public  life. 

The  books  of  Moses,  which  laid  the  foundation, 
do,  indeed,  mostly  contain  the  divine  beginnings  of 
things  ;  and  here  we  have  chiefly,  although  not 
exclusively,  divine  acts,  divine  initiation,  divine 
speech,  divine  law,  and  institutions.  But  when  we 
come  to  the  historical  books,  from  Joshua  to  the 
book  of  Chronicles,  we  enter  as  it  were  upon  a  new 
phase.  And,  as  to  these  historical  books,  many 
portions  of  which  seem  to  us  to  be  so  entirely  natural 
and  human,  describing  much  that  is  imperfect  and 
much  that  is  even  sinful,  I  wish  now  to  show  you 
what  is  their  position  in  the  Scripture. 

I  begin  by  reminding  you,  or  perhaps  telling 
some  of  you  for  the  first  time,  that  the  ancient 
Hebrews  who  collected  the  Scriptures  called  the 
historical  books  beginning  with  Joshua  "  The  Former 
Prophets,"  and  in  this  they  showed  their  wisdom, 
for  the  history  of  the  Jews,  as  you  find  it  in  Scripture, 
is  not  like  an  ordinary  secular  history  which  simply 
aims  at  the  enumeration  of  events,  in  order  to  fill  up  as 
fully  and  completely  as  possible  the  chronology  of  the 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  45 


nation's  existence.  In  this  history  many  events  are 
passed  over,  either  silently,  or  very  briefly,  which  to 
a  worldly  historian  would  appear  important  ;  and 
others,  which  to  the  eye  of  sense  and  reason  appear 
insignificant,  are  treated  with  the  greatest  fulness 
and  circumstantiality.  The  history  of  Israel  that  is 
given  to  us  in  the  Scriptures  has  reference  to  one 
point ;  that  is,  the  kingdom  of  God.  It  hastens  to 
one  consummation ;  that  is,  the  advent  of  the  Messiah  ; 
and  everything  recorded  must  stand  in  relation,  more 
or  less  direct,  to  this.  Therefore  they  who  wrote 
those  histories  required  to  be  of  the  prophetic  mind, 
that  is,  men  of  the  theocratic  spirit  ;  but  it  required 
more  than  their  theocratic  spirit,  for  only  He  who  knew 
the  end  from  the  beginning  could  see  these  events 
and  personages  in  their  proper  relation  to  Christ  and 
to  the  kingdom.  Moreover,  in  these  histories  there 
is  shown  to  us  the  very  heart  of  man,  the  inner 
motives  out  of  which  actions  spring.  And  these 
historians  pronounce  a  definite  judgment  upon 
men.  This  man  was  good,  and  walked  in  the  ways 
of  the  Lord  and  pleased  the  Lord,  and  the  other 
man  was  wicked,  and  did  not  walk  in  the  ways  of 
the  Lord. 

Another  requisite  these  historians  had  to  ful- 
fil. Whatsoever  is  written  aforetime  is  written 
for  our  instruction  ;  and  therefore  the  events  and 
characters  which  they  describe  must  have  an  ever- 
lasting significance.  They  must  be  symbolical  of 
those  truths  and  experiences  which  always  repeat 
themselves  in  the  history  of  God's  children.  And 
now  who  could  be  the  real  author  of  those  books  ? 
Whether  they  be  written  by  Samuel,  or  by  Joshua, 
or  by  some  anonymous  writer,  who  could  have  been 


46   RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

the  real  author  of  those  books  ?  Who  knows  the 
counsel  of  God  ?  Who  beholds  the  image  of  Christ  ? 
Who  searches  the  depths  of  the  human  mind,  and 
who  provides  for  all  generations  of  God's  saints 
instructive,  edifying,  guiding,  and  correcting  history  ? 
Therefore  the  historical  books,  the  books  of  the 
earlier  prophets,  are  "  Word  of  God  "  in  all  that  they 
contain.  If  it  be  said,  "  Oh,  there  are  so  many 
things  in  the  historical  parts  of  Scripture — sins, 
vices,  crimes,  wickedness," — certainly ;  God  wants 
us  to  know  all  this.  God  wants  to  show  us  what 
the  world  is  in  which  we  live,  and  the  anatomy 
of  our  own  heart ;  and  there  is  no  wickedness 
and  villainy  in  the  world,  secret,  private,  or  public, 
that  is  not  fully  described  in  the  Word  of  God, — but 
as  God  alone  can  describe  it,  in  its  real  nature 
and  depth  and  in  such  a  way  that  the  poison  is, 
as  it  were,  hermetically  sealed — not  like  the  wicked 
and  filthy  literature  of  the  world  which  tries  to  make 
evil  appear  seductive  and  guilt  excusable.  God, 
like  a  father  when  he  is  sending  forth  his  child 
into  the  wicked  world,  gives  us  instruction  as  to 
what  we  are  to  find  in  the  world. 

Or  it  is  said,  and  it  has  often  been  said,  "  You 
call  this  the  Word  of  God,  and  it  contains  the  very 
words  of  the  devil."  Certainly  it  contains  the  words 
of  the  devil.  It  is  most  important  for  us  to  know 
what  the  devil  says.  One  of  the  truths  revealed 
to  us  in  Scripture,  of  which  this  age  has  no  hold, 
and  of  which  believers  have  little  hold,  is  the 
important  doctrine  that  is  revealed  to  us  concerning 
the  devil,  and  concerning  his  kingdom  and  his 
influence  over  men.  In  the  3rd  chapter  of  Genesis 
we  have  the  methods  of  Satan  "  Hath   God  said  ? " 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  47 

In  the  ist  chapter  of  the  book  of  Job  we  have  the 
tactics  of  Satan,  the  accuser  of  the    brethren.      In 
the  4th  chapter  of  the  gospel  of  Matthew  we  have 
the  most  subtle  stratagem  of  Satan  when  he  tested 
even  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.      We  are  not  ignorant 
of    Satan's   devices,    and    why  ?      Because    God    has 
revealed  to  us  the  depths  of  Satan  in  His  own  word. 
And  the  sayings  of  wicked  men  are  reported,  from 
that    first   question    of  Cain,   "  Am    I    my    brother's 
keeper  ? "    unto  that  last   one    recorded  in   the   2nd 
epistle    of    Peter,   which    you    hear   nowadays   con- 
stantly.     Things  have  remained  the  same  from  the  1 
beginning  of  the  world.      The  course  of  nature  and  I 
history  is  uniform,  while  you  speak  of  the  second  1 
advent  of  Christ,  and  of  supernatural  manifestations.  | 

There  is  another  section  of  Scripture  of  which  itj 
is  sometimes  thought  that  we  can  scarcely  say  of  itt 
that  it  is  the  Word  of  God  ;  and  that  is  the  response 
of  Israel  to  God's  acts  and  to  God's  words — the 
Psalms,  the  Proverbs,  the  book  of  Ecclesiastes,  the 
book  of  Job,  and  the  Song  of  Songs.  Suffice  it  to 
say  of  these  also  that  in  them  we  see  the  purpose  of 
God,  that  this  echo  of  Israel  to  His  revelation  should 
be  known  to  all  generations  ;  and  not  merely  do  we 
read  the  wisdom  of  Solomon  which  was  very  great, 
but  in  the  book  of  Proverbs  wc  read  of  that  other 
Wisdom  which  Solomon  describes  in  the  8th 
chapter,  and  which  ivas,  before  the  foundations  of 
the  world  were  laid,  and  of  which  James  says  in 
his  epistle,  "  The  wisdom  that  is  from  above." 

But  let  us  look  at  this  human  element  in  a  more 
direct  manner.  Do  not  imagine  that,  when  we  em- 
phasise the  divine  authorship,  we  do  not  wish  to  lay 
full  emphasis  upon  the  human  authorship.      On   the 


48  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

contrary  everything  that  is  in  the  Christian  meets 
this  great  fact  with  exultation  and  thanksgiving. 
The  Bible  is  written  by  men  for  men.  "  Do 
not  let  God  speak  to  us,"  said  the  children  of 
Israel  to  Moses,  "  but  speak  thou  unto  us."  The 
great  promise  which  God  gave  unto  Israel  was  this, 
"  A  prophet  like  Moses  will  I  raise  up  unto  you  from 
among  your  brethren "  ;  and,  although  he  was 
possessed  of  final  authority,  yet  he  was  of  their 
own  brethren.  An  angel  came  to  Cornelius,  but  the 
angel  did  not  preach  to  him  the  gospel  with  the  Holy 
Ghost  sent  down  from  heaven  ;  but  Peter  the  apostle 
preached  to  him  the  glad  tidings  of  salvation.  How 
could  it  be  otherwise  when  the  only  mediator  between 
God  and  man  is  the  man  Christ  Jesus  ?  And  in  that 
simple  fact,  that  it  is  the  man  Christ  Jesus  who  is  the 
Son  of  the  Most  High  who  mediates  between  God 
and  us,  there  is  already  granted  the  true,  real  humanity 
of  all  the  channels  through  which  the  Scriptures 
were  written. 

Let  us  look  at  the  men.  We  like  to  see  them, 
each  with  his  own  face.  There  was  Moses  brought  up 
in  all  the  wisdom  of  the  Egyptians.  There  was  Amos 
taken  from  the  simple  scenes  of  shepherd  life.  There 
was  Daniel  who  was  a  statesman  at  the  court  of  the 
great  world-monarchy  Babylon,  and  of  the  succeeding 
monarchies.  There  was  Matthew  who  was  a  publican  ; 
there  was  Luke  who  was  a  physician  ;  there  were 
the  apostles  who  were  fishermen.  There  was  Saul 
who  had  been  a  disciple  of  Gamaliel.  They  lived  in 
different  ages  of  the  world's  history,  in  different 
countries, — and  their  different  surrounding  circum- 
stances are  reflected  by  their  individuality  and  their 
styles  of  writing.      But  that  is  nothing  when  we  come 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  49 

to  their  own  personal  character.  Oh,  there  are  no 
characters  Hke  the  characters  in  the  Bible.  There  is 
nobody  described  in  history,  and  there  is  no  one  that 
you  know  at  the  present  moment,  whom  you  know 
as  well  as  you  know  Moses  and  David  and  the 
apostle  Paul.  It  does  not  matter  that  Moses  was 
eighty  years  old  when  God  appeared  to  him  in  the 
fiery  bush,  and  that  Saul  of  Tarsus  was  a  Pharisee 
who  had  long  resisted  Christ  when  Jesus  came  and 
converted  him.  These  men  God  had  chosen  from 
their  mother's  womb  and  separated  unto  Himself, 
and  all  their  birth  and  natural  conformation,  their 
childhood,  their  youth,  all  their  influences,  their 
sins  and  errors — everything  was  part  and  parcel 
of  God's  chiselling  and  preparing  of  that  instru- 
ment by  which  He  was  to  speak  and  to  write. 
Moses — we  see  what  he  is  ;  his  zeal  for  God,  his  love 
to  his  nation,  his  impatience,  his  impetuosity,  his  in- 
dignation ;  on  the  other  side,  his  meekness,  his  self- 
sacrifice,  his  boldness  in  asking  God  to  change  His 
mind,  lest  the  nations  of  the  world  should  say  that  He 
was  not  able  to  carry  out  His  purpose,  his  wonderful 
humility,  his  wonderful  faith,  and  yet  his  human 
weakness,  so  that  he  was  not  able  to  rise  to  the 
height  of  the  divine  argument,  and  so  that  he  smote 
the  rock  instead  of  merely  speaking  to  it,  for  which 
sin,  because  he  did  not  sanctify  the  Lord  God,  he  was 
not  allowed  to  enter  into  the  land  of  promise.  Or 
again,  David,  his  fragrant  childhood,  his  chivalrous 
youth,  his  manhood  with  its  manifold  wanderings  and 
dangers,  tears,  sorrows  and  joys,  his  spirit  of  affection 
and  loyalty  to  his  nation,  by  which  he  gathered  to 
himself  all  the  noble  and  the  meek  of  the  earth  who 
feared  Jehovah,  his  petitions,  his  cries  of  anguish,  his 

E 


50   RELATION  OP  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

thanksgiving,  his  rejoicing  and  jubilation — we  know 
it  all, —  we  can  see  into  his  very  heart.  As  for  the 
apostle  Paul,  sent  by  Christ,  enlightened  by  Christ, 
inspired  by  the  Spirit,  he  communicates  to  us  the 
whole  counsel  of  God  in  his  epistles,  but  he  passes 
all  through  his  own  experience.  There  is  no  doctrine 
he  states,  no  experience  he  describes,  but  we  see  it 
vibrating  through  all  the  nerves  and  fibres  of  his  being. 
Thus  when  he  describes  in  the  7th  of  Romans,  "  I  lived 
once  without  the  law,  but  when  the  law  came  it  killed 
me,"  when  he  says  to  us  in  the  8th  of  Romans,  "  I  am 
persuaded  that  nothing  shall  separate  us  from  the  love 
of  God,"  or  when  in  the  9th  to  the  i  ith  of  Romans, 
he  lays  bare  to  us  his  heart,  and  we  see  it  a  weep- 
ing heart  having  sorrow  and  heaviness  continually 
on  account  of  Israel,  God's  nation  ;  or  if  you  read  the 
Corinthians,  where  you  can  see  Paul's  conflict,  or  the 
Philippians,  where  you  can  see  Paul's  peace,  or  the 
epistles  to  Timothy  and  Titus,  where  you  can  see  the 
paternal  apostle  looking  forward  unto  the  coming 
ages, — it  is  Paul  who  speaks — this  man  Paul  and  all 
that  is  within  him  ;  but  God  has  used  him  not  merely 
to  be  a  pattern  to  us,  but  that  through  him  the  teach- 
ing should  be  given. 

But  you  say,  "  Oh,  that  is  very  true,  but  how  can 
we  imagine  and  how  can  we  conceive  human  beings 
receiving  teaching  and  disclosures  from  above  ?  why, 
they  have  nothing  to  do  but  just  to  receive  them  and 
to  send  them  forth  again."  Oh,  it  is  not  so.  The 
Scripture  shows  us  the  humanity  of  these  men  in  the 
very  act  of  their  being  inspired  and  receiving  the 
Word  of  God  from  above.  And  the  first  piece  of 
humanity  which  we  can  all  understand  is  this — that 
they   will  not, —  they  are   not   willing.      When    God 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  51 

appeared  to  Moses  and  said,  "  Go  now  with  my 
message,"  Moses  said,  "  No.  Send  some  one  else. 
I  am  not  fit."  He  resists.  The  apostles  were  the 
witnesses  of  the  resurrection,  but  they  would  not 
believe  it  themselves  for  a  long  time.  They  doubted. 
How  did  they  become  the  witnesses  of  the  resur- 
rection ?  Look  at  Jeremiah.  Jeremiah  was  a  man 
of  feminine  temperament,  gentle,  sensitive, — and  God 
sent  him  with  nothing  but  messages  of  rebuke  and 
judgment ;  and  whereas  there  were  a  great  number 
of  flutes,  and  harps,  and  viols  that  were  most 
poetically  playing  to  the  nation  cheerful  and  san- 
guine melodies,  God  sent  Jeremiah  to  destroy  and 
to  pull  down  and  to  rebuke  and  to  announce  the 
judgment  of  God;  and  Jeremiah  expostulated  "What 
a  selection  you  have  made  !  You  choose  the  very 
thing  that  lacerates  me.  /  am  to  do  this  ?  I  will 
not  do  this.  I  am  distracted  by  reason  of  thy 
terrors  day  and  night."  He  expostulated  with  God. 
He  says,  "  Am  I  to  weep  away  all  my  soul  in  rivers 
of  tears  ?  "  He  cursed  the  day  of  his  birth  ;  he  kept 
silence ;  but  it  burned  within  his  bones  as  a  fire, 
and  God's  Word  he  must  speak,  and  he  did  speak. 
There  you  see  God  and  the  man. 

Look  at  Daniel.  God  gave  to  him  a  vision.  In 
the  2nd  chapter  of  Daniel  there  is  an  image  repre- 
sented. In  the  7th  chapter  there  is  the  revelation 
given  of  the  four  monarchies,  and  of  the  descent 
of  the  Son  of  Man  from  heaven  ;  but  in  the  book 
of  Daniel  we  can  see  the  effect  that  it  had  upon 
him.  He  fainted.  For  days  he  was  not  able  to 
eat.  It  was  as  if  his  soul  had  gone  away  from 
him.  And  then  he  asks  the  question,  "  What  shall 
the  end  of  these  things  be  ?  "      Or  again,  Isaiah,  when 


52   RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

he  saw  the  glory  and  heard  the  "  Holy,  holy,  holy," 
said,  "  Woe  is  me  "  ;  and  again,  when  the  great  re- 
velations were  given  to  him,  he  burst  forth  in  the 
exclamation,  "  Who  hath  believed  our  report  ?  "  or 
"  Oh  that  thou  wouldst  rend  the  heavens  and  come 
down."  And  John  in  the  book  of  the  Apocalypse  ! 
Now  notice  this.  Of  no  book  of  Scripture  can  we 
say  so  emphatically  that  it  is  God's  Word,  for  it  is 
the  book  of  the  revelation  which  God  gave  of  His 
Son  Jesus  Christ.  Certainly  here  is  a  divine  objec- 
tive authority,  but  the  person  of  John  the  beloved 
disciple  we  can  see  throughout  the  whole  book. 
And  do  you  not  remember  in  the  1st  chapter  he  fell 
down  at  his  feet  as  dead,  and  Jesus  comforts  him  ? 
And  do  you  not  remember  afterwards  that  no  one 
was  able  to  open  the  book  :  "  I  wept  m^ich.  I  wept 
much  "  ?  Do  we  who  believe  the  Bible  ever  think  of 
the  men  by  whom  the  Bible  was  written  as  mere 
instruments  and  pens  ? 

But  now  I  must  emphasise  the  other  side.  Let  us 
take,  then,  the  most  subjective  part  of  Scripture,  the 
Psalms.  A  man  says  to  me,  "  Surely  you  do  not  mean 
to  say  that  the  Psalms  are  God's  Word.  Are  not  they 
David's  word,  his  faith,  his  doubt,  his  impatience,  his 
thanksgiving,  his  experience  ?  "  Of  course  they  are. 
But  what  if  the  whole  David  was  God's  Word  ?  What 
if  God  had  prepared  and  made  and  guided  this  David 
that  in  him  as  a  pattern,  and  an  instalment  in  a  finite, 
imperfect  and  sin-mixed  way  there  should,  by  the 
Spirit,  be  shown  forth  the  experience  of  Christ  in  an  in- 
finite, perfect,  and  altogether  sinless  and  divine  way  ? 
Is  not  the  Psalter  the  prayer  book  of  the  Messiah  ? 
Is  not  the  22nd  Psalm,  although  it  does  refer  to 
David,  and  was   uttered   out   of  David's   own   depth 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  53 

of  heart,  —  really  far  beyond  David's  depth  of 
heart,  and  did  he  not  by  the  Spirit  say,  "  The  Lord 
saith  unto  my  Lord  "  ?  And  in  the  2nd  Psalm  in 
which  he  says,  "  Thou  art  my  son  ;  this  day  have 
I  begotten  thee,"  and  in  all  the  Psalms  in  which 
the  events  of  Christ's  life  are  predicted,  and  the 
events  of  the  lives  of  those  who  are  identified  with 
Christ, — is  it  David  who  speaks,  or  is  that  true  which 
David  himself  said  on  his  deathbed — the  last  words 
of  David  the  King  of  Israel,  the  sweet  psalmist, 
—  The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  spake  in  me}  The  Psalms 
of  David  are  the  most  subjective  part  of  the  Bible, 
and  it  is  most  evident  that  all  the  Psalms  of  David 
are  God's  Word. 

Take  Jeremiah.  Certainly  the  message  that  he 
delivered  to  Israel  was  none  of  his  seeking,  neither 
was  it  to  his  taste,  but  does  not  Jeremiah  know 
perfectly  that  God  has  sent  him  and  that  he  is  not 
one  of  the  false  prophets  ?  In  no  other  prophet  is 
the  contrast  given  with  so  much  emphasis  as  in  this 
prophet  between  false  prophets  who  also  spoke  what 
they  called  "  word  of  the  Lord  " — very  beautiful, 
poetical,  religious,  and  pious.  But  God  had  not 
sent  them.  In  our  days  some  men  have  the  ignor- 
ance and  the  audacity  to  compare  the  inspiration 
of  Scripture  with  the  inspiration  of  Shakespeare 
and  poets  and  sculptors,  for  man  has  intuitions  and 
imaginations  and  ideas  and  may  express  them, — 
but  what  is  the  chaff  to  the  wheat  ?  "  My  word," 
saith  the  Lord,  "  is  like  a  hammer  that  breaketh  in 
pieces  the  rocks,"  and  also  "  like  the  rain  which  comes 
down  from  heaven."  And  did  not  all  the  apostles 
know  with  the  greatest  certainty  and  conviction  that 
the  things  that  they  spoke    and  wrote,  they  spoke 


54   RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

and  wrote  with  the  words,  not  which  human  wisdom 
teaches,  but  which  the  Spirit  of  God  teaches  ? 

And  I  wish  yet  to  lead  you  still  farther  into 
the  human  element  of  the  Scripture.  God  reveals 
to  us  His  mysteries,  but  not  like  a  magician  or 
thaumaturgist,  in  as  bewildering  and  mysterious  a 
manner  as  possible,  but  in  as  simple  and  unostenta- 
tious a  manner  as  possible,  just  as  our  blessed  Jesus 
concealed  what  other  men  would  have  pronounced 
publicly.  His  birth  in  Bethlehem  after  thirty  years 
was  completely  forgotten,  and  people  thought  that 
He  belonged  to  Nazareth.  And  during  the  thirty 
years  that  He  was  in  Nazareth,  He  did  not  go  about 
with  a  divine  halo  round  His  countenance. 

We  have  the  five  books  of  Moses.  As  for  their 
composition,  that  belongs  to  another  subject.  These 
five  books  of  Moses,  in  some  form  or  other,  were  in 
the  hands  of  Joshua  and  in  the  hands  of  the  rulers 
and  kings, — for  them  continually  to  meditate  on  ; 
and  the  promise  was  given  to  them  that,  if  they 
meditated  on  these  books,  God  would  bless  them.  I 
do  not  know  of  any  promise  that  God  gives  to  us 
for  reading  any  other  book.  He  is  father  to  this 
book  and  will  stand  by  it.  Then  what  is  revealed  in 
Moses  we  see  traces  of,  in  all  the  other  writings 
which  follow.  Moses  is  constantly  quoted  by  the  later 
historians  and  by  the  prophets.  If  it  was  only  the 
name  which  God  pronounced  to  Moses,  "  The  Lord 
God,  merciful  and  gracious,  long  suffering,"  and  so 
on, — it  forms  as  it  were  the  foundation  of  the  Psalms 
and  the  prophets,  with  the  benediction  of  Aaron  : 
"  The  Lord  bless  thee  and  keep  thee."  Then  we 
find  in  the  days  of  David  and  the  other  psalmists 
that  they  are  studying  the  Word  of  God.      Then  we 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  55 

find  that  Isaiah  quotes  the  prophet  Micah.  Then 
Daniel  studies  the  books  of  Jeremiah.  Then  we 
find  that  the  apostles  arc  always  referring  to  the 
books  of  Moses  and  the  prophets.  Then  we  find  in 
the  2nd  epistle  of  Peter  a  reference  to  the  epistles 
of  the  apostle  Paul.  So  you  see  how  it  grows.  No 
evolution.  It  is  not  as  if  that  which  was  started 
first  by  Moses,  by  itself,  in  the  mind  of  man, 
developed  and  became  better  and  clearer  and  fuller. 
They  did  meditate  on  it ;  they  did  think  about  it  ; 
they  did  pray  over  it  ;  but  it  did  not  develop  by 
itself  God  had  to  interfere  again  and  again  with 
new  revelations,  creative  beginnings  direct  from 
above.  And  this  fact  is  of  the  greatest  importance 
for  this  reason.  Our  blessed  Saviour  did  not  come 
to  Israel  after  David  and  Solomon,  when  one  might 
have  said,  "  You  see  now  what  is  the  result  of  the 
development  of  the  Jewish  nation.  At  last  they 
have  produced  David,  and  then  they  have  produced 
Solomon,  and  now  they  produce  the  real  man,  who 
is  the  Messiah."  From  Abraham  to  David,  fourteen 
generations  ;  from  David  down  to  the  Babylonish 
captivity,  fourteen  generations  ;  and  from  the  Baby- 
lonish captivity  through  a  still  drearier  territory  to 
Joseph,  fourteen  generations.  And  when  of  the 
tree  of  David  there  was  nothing  left  but  what  Isaiah 
calls  a  stump,  when  the  tabernacle  of  David  was 
fallen  low  and  the  representative  of  the  house  of 
David  was  the  blessed  and  dear  Virgin  Mary  who 
brought  a  pair  of  turtle  doves  because  of  her  poverty, 
then  Jesus  came  ;  for  this  is  the  motto  of  Israel, 
"  With  man  it  is  impossible,  but  with  God  all  things 
are  possible." 

Now  whereunto   shall    T   compare   this   growth  of 


56    RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

the  Scriptures  ?  Shall  I  say  that  it  is  like  a 
building  ?  But  what  building  have  you  ever  seen 
that  begins  in  this  way — that  there  is  a  house  of 
small  dimensions — it  has  a  firm  foundation  ;  it  has 
good  walls  ;  it  is  covered  in  by  a  roof  of  safety  and 
shelter  ;  but  it  is  small,  and  after  a  number  of  years 
you  see  it  larger,  and  after  a  number  of  years  you 
see  it  still  larger  ?  There  is  no  such  building  ;  but 
the  Scripture  is  like  that.  The  five  books  of  Moses 
contain  a  house  for  God's  people.  And  then  the 
Scriptures  were  enlarged,  and  still  further  enlarged, 
until  they  became  complete.  Or  sliall  I  say  that 
it  is  like  the  growth  of  a  plant  ?  That  is  better, 
because  the  seed  contains  everything.  And  what  is 
the  seed  ?  The  Word  of  God  is  the  seed  and 
contains  everything ;  and  out  of  this  seed  the 
Scripture  came,  and  in  every  part  of  the  growth 
there  is  the  life  of  the  seed,  and  there  is  the  form  of 
life  that  is  also  in  the  seed.  Or  shall  I  compare  it 
to  the  human  being — the  infant,  the  child,  the  youth, 
the  man  ?  Yes.  Well,  let  us  look  at  the  infant. 
Genesis — that  would  be  the  infant.  Oh,  but  the 
apostle  Paul  in  the  epistle  to  the  Galatians,  writing 
in  the  fulness  of  time  and  after  the  Pentecostal 
disclosures,  cries  out,  "  This  infant  Genesis  knows 
everything.  This  scripture  Genesis  has  foreseen 
that  the  Gentiles  apart  from  the  law  shall  be  justified 
through  faith  in  the  promised  seed."  Is  Genesis 
then  omniscient  ?  Genesis  is  not  omniscient,  and 
the  men  that  wrote  Genesis  were  not  omniscient ; 
but  God  who  caused  Genesis  to  be  written  was 
omniscient.  The  first  three  chapters  of  Genesis 
find  their  explanation  in  the  last  three  of  the  book 
of    Revelation.       Melchisedck    is   explained    in    the 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  57 

epistle  to  the  Hebrews, — the  patriarchal  life  in  the 
doctrine  of  justification  by  faith  and  the  ingathering 
of  the  Jews.  What  a  wonderful  book  !  So  compact 
did  it  become  at  last  in  the  days  of  our  blessed 
Saviour  that  there  was  no  doubt  about  the  books 
which  constituted  the  Scripture — the  things  that  arc 
written. 

And  now  I  can  only  touch  on  another  subject,  but 
I  must  mention  it  as  it  confirms  all  that  I  have  said. 
You  believe  in  Jesus,  the  Son  of  God,  and  the  Son 
of  Man,  the  Messiah.  He  has  a  two-fold  relation  to 
Scripture  as  God  ;  and  as  man  He  has  a  two-fold 
relation  to  the  law  of  God  and  to  everything.  As 
Messiah  He  is  under  the  Scripture.  As  Son  of  God 
He  is  above  the  Scripture,  as  He  is  above  the  law. 
All  that  Moses  and  the  prophets  wrote  pointed  to 
Christ.  All  was  fulfilled  in  Him.  Now,  when  Christ 
was  upon  earth,  what  was  His  attitude  to  the 
Scripture  ?  Our  blessed  Saviour  never  speaks  of  the 
principle  of  the  Scripture  —  of  the  idea  of  the 
Scripture — of  the  teaching  of  Scripture — of  the 
promises  of  the  Scripture, — of  this  or  that  in  the 
Scripture,  of  "  the  divine  element "  in  the  Scripture, 
as  our  modems  would  say,  or  of  the  Word  of  God 
contained  in  the  Scripture.  He  always  speaks  of 
the  Scripture — that  body — that  written  thing — that 
collection  of  books.  And  of  that  Scripture  He  says, 
"  I  do  not  receive  testimony  from  man,"  but  "  Search 
the  Scriptures.  They  testify  of  me."  Therefore  it 
is  a  divine  testimony.  But  what  in  the  Scriptures 
testifies  of  Him?  Everything — the  whole  Scriptures — 
the  Scriptures  themselves.  So  He  says,  "  Think  not 
that  I  am  come  to  destroy  Moses  and  the  prophets. 
Not   till   heaven  and  earth   pass   away  shall   one  jot 


58  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

or  tittle "  (that  is,  one  of  these  httle  letters)  "  be 
removed."  When  He  argues  with  the  Jews  and 
quotes  incidentally  a  passage  from  the  Psalms,  He 
says  in  parenthesis,  "  And  the  Scripture  cannot  be 
broken."  He  does  not  say,  "  This  verse  cannot  be 
denied,"  or,  "  The  teaching  of  the  Psalms  cannot  be 
gainsaid "  ;  but  simply,  *'  Because  this  verse  is  in 
the  Scripture,  ipso  facto,  the  Scripture  stands  good 
for  it,  and  the  Scripture  cannot  be  broken."  What 
does  He  say  to  the  Sadducces,  in  the  narrative  of 
the  rich  man  and  Lazarus  ?  "  They  have  Moses 
and  the  prophets.  Let  them  hear  them."  What 
is  the  hearing  ?  "  It  is  written."  It  is  God's  Word 
written.  Therefore  let  them  hear  them.  "  Have 
you  not  read  what  God  said  ? "  Therefore  God's 
Word  is  to  be  read. 

But  not  merely  this.  Our  blessed  Saviour  found 
in  the  Scripture  His  own  portrait.  When  He  preached 
in  the  synagogue  of  Nazareth  He  opened  the  book 
of  the  prophet  Isaiah,  and  said,  "  The  Scripture  is 
fulfilled  to-day  in  your  hearing."  When  He  showed 
mercy  to  the  publicans  and  sinners.  He  described  His 
own  mind  by  that  which  was  written,  "  I  will  have 
mercy,  and  not  sacrifice."  His  whole  work.  His 
whole  suffering.  His  whole  death.  His  whole  resurrec- 
tion, He  found  in  what  was  written.  The  Scripture 
must  be  fulfilled.  All  that  is  written  concerning 
Him  has  now  an  end.  Was  it  not  Word  of  God  to 
Jesus  ?  Was  it  not  the  portraiture  of  Christ  Himself? 
Was  not  it  the  revelation  of  God's  secret  counsel 
and  will  concerning  our  salvation  ?  When  Jesus 
argues  with  Satan,  He  says,  "  It  is  written."  When 
Jesus  prays  to  the  Father  He  says,  "  The  son  of 
perdition  is  lost,  that  the  Scripture  may  be  fulfilled  "  ; 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  59 

and  when  He  authorises  the  disciples,  and  prepares 
th6m  for  their  apostoHc  mission,  He  tells  them  that 
He  entered  through  sufferings  into  glory,  because  it 
was  so  written.  As  it  was  written,  so  it  happened  ; 
and  as  it  is  written,  and  as  it  happened,  so  it  must 
be  preached  unto  the  world.  So  the  testimony  of 
Jesus  concerning  the  whole  Scripture  is  that  it  is 
the  Word  of  God. 

To  say,  "  The  l^ible  contains  the  Word  of  God," 
instead  of  saying,  "  The  Bible  is  the  Word  of  God," 
is  inadequate  and  misleading.  Everything  that  is 
in  Scripture  would  authenticate  itself  to  us  as  Word 
of  God,  if  we  understood  it  in  its  right  connection 
with  the  centre  ;  but  we  must  not  say  merely  that 
the  Scripture  contains  the  Word  of  God  ;  and  we 
had  better  not  say  it  at  all,  because,  in  the  first  place, 
what  else  does  Scripture  contain  besides  the  Word  of 
God  ?  Nothing  is  in  Scripture  that  does  not  belong 
to  it,  and  nothing  is  outside  of  Scripture  that  ought 
to  be  introduced  into  it.  It  is  perfectly  true  that 
there  are  some  parts  of  Scripture  more  vital,  more 
noble  than  others,  like  the  book  of  Genesis,  which  is 
like  the  head,  like  the  gospel  of  John,  which  is  like 
the  heart ;  but  as  the  apostle  explains  to  us  in  his 
splendid  comparison  of  the  body  with  the  Church, 
all  the  members  are  members  of  the  body,  according 
to  their  various  positions,  importance,  and  significance. 
Life  goes  through  them  all,  and  it  is  not  for  us  to 
separate  anything  that  belongs  to  the  living  and 
sacred  body  of  Scripture.  And  if  Scripture  only 
contains  Scripture,  who  is  to  judge  what  is  Word  of 
God,  and  what  is  not  Word  of  God  ?  There  are 
many  things  in  the  Scripture  which  perhaps  are  not 
interesting  to  this  one  or  to  that  one  ;  but   Scripture 


6o  RELATION  OF  THE  HUMAN,  HISTORICAL,  ETC., 

is  not  given  for  an  individual,  but  for  the  whole 
Church  ;  not  for  the  Church  of  one  age,  but  for  the 
Church  of  all  ages.  There  are  many  people  who 
take  no  interest  in  the  Jews,  but  God  takes  the  most 
intense  and  everlasting  interest  in  the  Jews, — and  that 
of  itself  will  place  a  very  large  portion  of  Scripture 
in  another  light. 

Is  our  Christian  consciousness  what  men  have 
called  the  "  verifying  faculty "  to  be  set  up,  as  a 
judge,  over  the  disclosures  which  are  to  be  found 
in  the  Scriptures  ?  Is  the  very  creation  of  the 
Scripture,  the  very  child  which  owes  its  existence 
to  the  teaching  of  Scripture,  to  assume  the  position 
of  a  superior  ?  When  I  read  the  Bible  am  I  to  hear 
the  voice  at  every  page,  "  Hath  God  indeed  said  this  ? 
Hath  God  indeed  said  this  ?  Is  this  merely  contained 
in  the  Word  of  God,  or  is  it  Word  of  God  ?  "  It  is 
said  that  Scripture  is  the  rule  of  faith.  So  the  Church 
of  England,  so  the  Church  of  Scotland,  so  every 
Protestant  evangelical  Church,  has  declared  that 
nothing  is  to  be  demanded  of  God's  people  to  believe 
and  obey,  unless  it  be  founded  on  the  Word  of  God. 
Scripture  is  the  rule  of  faith,  but  who  is  to  rule  the 
rule,  or  to  correct  the  rule  ?  Scripture  could  never 
be  the  rule  of  faith  unless  it  was  the  foundation  of 
faith  and  the  source  of  faith.  "  Faith  cometh  by 
hearing,  and  hearing  cometh  by  the  Word  of  God." 
And  where  does  the  Word  of  God  come  from,  but 
from  God  Himself?  And  so  let  us  believe  it  as  it  is 
declared  to  us  in  the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews,  "  At 
sundry  times  and  in  divers  manners,  unto  the  fathers 
by  the  prophets,"  but  in  them  all,  and  through  them 
all,  God  spake. 

I   hope  to  finish  what  I   have  to  remark  on   this 


ELEMENTS  TO  THE  DIVINE  6i 

subject,  especially  about  the  New  Testament,  and  the 
work  of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  the  formation  of  Scripture. 
The  subject  of  my  next  lecture  will  be  the  certainty 
which  believers  have  concerning  Scripture  and  the 
testimony  to  it  of  Christ. 


IV 


THE   TESTIMONY    OF   JESUS    CONSIDERED— 
AND   DECISIVE 

The  testimony  of  Jesus  Christ  to  the  Old  Testament  Scriptures  decisive — 
The  relation  in  which  Jesus  stands  to  the  New  Testament — Misre- 
presentations of  the  Rationalists — They  undermine  the  authority  of 
Christ  in  order  to  shake  His  testimony — Assertion  that  His  human 
knowledge  limited — The  searcher  of  hearts  (God's  prerogative)  when 
on  earth — No  Socinians  ever  dared  to  say  what  is  now  said — The 
Holy  Spirit  not  to  reveal  any  other  thing  than  Jesus  had  revealed, 
but  to  bring  to  remembrance — In  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount 
Jesus  speaks  as  the  Son  of  God — His  attestations  to  Moses  and  the 
prophets  after  the  resurrection — This  the  foundation  of  the  claims 
of  Christianity  made  by  the  apostles — ^Jesus  Christ  is  Jehovah — This 
shown  from  numerous  passages — Weak  assertions  of  recent  times — 
Advanced  preaching — The  Spirit,  acting  through  the  Scriptures, 
effects  conversion — The  Bible  never  to  be  separated  from  Christ 
the  Living  Word — Sceptics  not  to  be  dreaded, — but  the  false, 
compromising,  conciliatory  modern  teaching  in  our  churches — The 
enemy  will  advise  to  put  the  sword  into  the  sheath.  The  sword 
not  to  be  defended  but  unsheathed. 

The  subjects  to-day  are  :  the  testimony  of  Jesus 
Christ  concerning  the  Old  Testament  Scriptures 
decisive  ;  the  relation  in  which  Jesus  stands  to  the 
New  Testament ;  the  Spirit  of  God  and  His  relation 
to  the  Scripture. 

It  is  most  important  that  all  Christians  should 
be  fully  convinced  in  their  own  minds  that  the  testi- 
mony which  Jesus  bears  concerning  Moses  and  the 


THE  TESTIMONY  OE  JESUS  CONSIDERED  63 

prophets  is  decisive.  It  leaves  not  a  vestige  of 
doubt  in  the  mind  of  any  one  who  acknowledges  that 
Jesus  is  the  Son  of  God.  It  gives  us  a  perfect  and 
incontrovertible  conviction  that  the  Scriptures  of  the 
Old  Testament  are  the  Word  of  God.  Many  doubts, 
many  objections,  have  been  brought  against  this 
view,  and  I  can  only  remind  you  in  a  few  words  of 
the  tactics  of  the  rationalists  who  do  not  believe  in 
the  divinity  of  Christ,  who  attempt  to  show  that 
our  Saviour  accommodated  Himself  to  the  prejudices 
of  His  contemporaries,  and  that, — although  He  Him- 
self did  not  believe  in  the  inspiration  of  the  Old 
Testament,  or  in  the  existence  of  Satan,  or  in  those 
who  were  possessed  of  devils  as  really  possessed  by 
them, — still  adapting  Himself  to  the  ignorance  and 
weakness  of  the  Jews,  and  wishing  to  lead  them,  as 
it  were,  into  a  higher  and  nobler  sphere  of  thought. 
He  argued  with  them  from  the  things  which  they 
admitted.  Thus  a  course  of  action  is  suggested 
unworthy  of  the  character  of  an  honest  man,  un- 
worthy of  the  dignity  of  a  prophet,  blasphemous  as 
applied  to  Jesus,  who  is  God  over  all  blessed  for 
ever.  Jesus  who  never  for  a  single  moment  accom- 
modated Himself  to  the  prejudices  of  the  Pharisees 
and  scribes,  who  with  all  the  energy  of  His  character 
protested  against  the  traditions  of  the  elders,  who 
not  merely  in  secret,  but  in  the  presence  of  all 
people,  declared  that  every  plant  which  His  Heavenly 
Father  had  not  planted,  however  venerable  and  pious 
it  might  seem,  must  be  rooted  up, —  how  could  He 
for  a  single  moment  teach  what  He  knew  to  be 
untrue  ? 

Another   explanation    has    been    attempted.       It 
has  been  stated,  and  that  in  the  most  recent  times. 


64        THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

that  when  the  Son  of  God  emptied  Himself,  and  laid 
aside  the  glory  of  His  divine  state  of  existence,  and 
became  man,  His  human  knowledge  became  limited, 
and  that  this  limitation  must  be  taken  into  account 
when  we  consider  His  declarations  about  Moses  and 
the  prophets.  A  few  sentences  will  suffice  to  show 
that  this  whole  mysterious  subject,  of  the  self-limita- 
tion of  the  Son  of  God  in  becoming  man,  does  not 
in  any  manner  touch  the  subject  that  is  before  us. 

Let  me  remind  you  of  the  facts  that  are  brought 
before  us  in  the  gospels,  which  show  the  range  of 
Christ's  vision  as  man  upon  earth.  He  saw  into  the 
depths  of  Nathanael's  heart  when  Nathanael  was 
under  the  fig-tree,  He  saw  into  the  depths  of  the  sea 
and  beheld  the  coin  in  the  mouth  of  the  fish.  He 
read  the  whole  past  life  of  the  woman  of  Samaria, 
whom  He  had  never  seen  before  during  His  earthly 
pilgrimage.  He  knew  that  Judas  was  going  to  betray 
Him.  He  saw  the  man  waiting  on  the  road  with 
the  ass  and  the  foal  of  the  ass,  and  the  other  man 
who  had  prepared  the  guest  chamber  for  Him  to 
eat  the  passover  with  His  disciples.  Many  more 
instances  I  might  quote,  but  what  I  wish  to  bring 
before  you  is  this— that  Jesus,  when  He  was  on 
earth,  was  the  Searcher  of  Hearts.  This  is  God's 
prerogative.  "  /  only  search  the  heart."  Jesus  knew 
what  was  in  man  and  did  not  require  any  one  to  tell 
Him.  Secondly,  He  saw  the  whole  invisible  realm 
of  angels  and  of  devils.  "  I  beheld  Satan  fall  like 
lightning  from  heaven."  "  Satan  hath  desired  to 
have  thee,  that  he  may  sift  thee  as  wheat."  And  in 
all  the  possessed — and  possessed  they  were  as  surely 
as  we  have  a  gospel  record — the  Lord  Jesus  Christ 
saw  the  powers  of  the  evil  one.      But  more  than  that, 


AND  DECISIVE  65 


Jesus  saw  the  Father.  Jesus  said,  "  No  man  knoweth 
the .  Father  but  the  Son."  He  who  saw  the  depths 
of  the  human  heart— He  who  saw  the  whole  of  the 
invisible  world  of  spirits — He  who  knew  God 
absolutely, — He  it  is  who  says  unto  us,  "  The  Scrip- 
ture cannot  be  broken." 

I  wish  to  establish  this  point  still  more  firmly. 
Let  us  look,  then,  upon  Jesus  as  a  prophet.  None 
of  the  old  Socinians  would  ever  have  dared  or  wished 
to  say  the  things,  that  are  now  said  by  people  who 
are  in  evangelical  churches.  Much  mistaken  as  they 
were  about  the  person  of  Christ,  they  all  held  clearly 
that  He  was  the  truth,  that  He  was  the  Light  of  the 
World,  that  He  was  the  perfect  prophet  whose  testi- 
mony is  to  be  received  implicitly. 

Let  us  first  look  upon  Jesus  merely  as  a  prophet. 
What  is  a  prophet  according  to  the  Old  Testament? 
A  man  who  runs  not,  before  he  is  sent,  who  is  sent 
by  God,  who  is  entrusted  with  a  divine  message,  who 
delivers  not  his  own  thoughts,  but  the  things  which 
God  has  committed  unto  him  ;  who  preaches 
repentance,  and  at  the  same  time  preaches  the 
coming  of  the  Messiah,  even  of  Jehovah  Himself  in 
His  glory.  Such  a  prophet  was  Jesus,  sent  by  the 
Father  in  the  fulness  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  preaching 
repentance  and  the  advent  of  the  kingdom  of  God. 
But  all  the  Old  Testament  prophets  were  only 
precursors  of  the  real  prophet  that  was  promised, 
and  therefore  the  great  promise  given  unto  the 
people  by  God  through  Moses  is  this  :  "  A  prophet 
like  unto  thee  I  will  raise  up  unto  them  from  among 
thy  brethren."  And  what  was  then  the  resemblance 
of  the  prophet  that  was  to  come  to  Moses  ?  As  the 
first  Adam  points  to  the  Lord  from  heaven,  so  Moses 

F 


66        THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED— 

points  to  Christ.  God  spoke  with  Moses  face  to 
face.  Moses  was  not  merely  a  prophet,  but  he  was 
the  mediator,  and  he  was  faithful  in  all  God's  house  ; 
and  thus,  after  all  the  prophets  that  God  sent  unto 
Israel,  there  was  to  come  at  last  a  prophet  like  unto 
Moses  at  the  beginning  of  the  new  dispensation — 
the  mediator  between  God  and  the  people  who 
should  speak  to  God  face  to  face.  And  this  promise 
which  God  gave  through  Moses  was  afterwards 
expanded,  in  the  subsequent  prophets.  Let  me 
remind  you  of  the  features  of  the  prophet  which  was 
to  come.  He  was  to  know  the  whole  mind  of  God. 
He  was  to  possess  the  Spirit  in  His  sevenfold 
plenitude.  He  was  to  be  entrusted  with  the  whole 
message  of  God,  and  not  merely  with  fragments. 
But  more  than  that.  He  was  Himself  to  be  the 
fulfilment  of  the  promise  ;  for  not  merely  was  He  to 
be  a  prophet,  raised  up  from  among  His  brethren, 
but  He  was  also  to  come  down  from  heaven,  and  in 
Him  the  fulness  of  divine  light  and  divine  life  was 
to  be  manifested  upon  earth.  Such  a  one  was 
Jesus. 

Other  prophets  were  not  always  in  the  Spirit. 
The  Spirit  came  upon  them  from  time  to  time  :  but 
Jesus,  every  moment  of  His  existence  and  in  every 
utterance  that  proceeded  from  Him,  was  filled  with 
the  Holy  Ghost.  He  said,  "  My  doctrine  is  not 
mine  but  my  Father's  who  sent  me.  All  I  have 
heard  of  the  Father,  I  have  given  unto  you.  I 
speak  not  of  myself,  but  whatsoever  I  see  the  Father 
do,  I  do  likewise."  Therefore  this  blessed  Jesus, 
always  in  communion  with  the  Father,  always  re- 
ceiving from  the  Father  the  words  which  He  was  to 
give  unto  the  people,  and  always  in  communion  with 


AND  DECISIVE  67 


the  Holy  Ghost,  is  that  perfect  prophet  who  speaks 
nothing  but  what  is  in  accordance  with  the  divine 
mind  and  the  divine  will. 

But  to  show  this  still  more  emphatically,  Jesus 
was  not  able  to  tell  the  disciples  everything  because 
they  could  not  have  borne  it.  Therefore  the  Holy 
Ghost  was  to  come  afterwards, — but  that  Holy  Ghost 
was  not  to  reveal  any  other  thing  than  that  which 
Jesus  had  revealed.  "  He  shall  bring  to  your  remem- 
brance the  words  that  I  have  spoken  unto  you."  He 
was  only  to  show  in  fuller  light  and  development  what 
Jesus  had  already  taught.  If,  then,  the  words  of 
Jesus  are  fallible,  we  have  no  infallible  God — neither 
Father  nor  Holy  Ghost.  When  Jesus  was  on  the 
Mount  of  Transfiguration,  there  were  Moses  and 
Elijah  as  the  representatives  of  the  Old  Testament 
history,  but  they  disappeared.  God  the  Father  from 
the  excellent  glory  spake  and  said,  "  This  is  my 
beloved  Son,  in  whom  I  am  well  pleased  ; "  but  he 
added  something  that  he  had  not  said  on  the  day  of 
Christ's  baptism,  for  then  the  prophetic  office  of 
Christ  was  only  beginning — now  it  had  come  to  its 
conclusion  — "  Hear  him."  God  visible  is  Jesus. 
God  audible  is  Jesus.  This  is  that  prophet  like 
unto  Moses  and  greater  than  Moses  of  whom  God 
the  Father  says,  "  He  is  my  representative  and  my 
mouth.  Whatever  he  speaks  unto  you,  believe  and 
accept." 

Were  I  to  stop  here,  I  think  I  would  have  proved 
my  point,  but  I  cannot  do  so,  because  I  believe  that 
Jesus  is  the  Son  of  God.  We  can  never  understand 
the  relation  of  the  divinity,  in  its  omniscience  and 
omnipotence,  unto  Jesus  of  Nazareth.  Whether  it 
was   in   abeyance,  or  whatever  theory  we  may   form 


68         THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

on  this  mysterious  subject,  has  nothing  to  do  with 
what  is  revealed  to  us  in  the  gospels.  As  it  is  with 
the  omnipotence  of  Christ,  so  it  is  with  the  omni- 
science. Christ  performed  His  miracles  by  faith  in 
the  Father.  Christ,  every  evening  that  He  went  to 
His  rest,  commended  Himself  to  the  Father.  Christ 
was  true  man.  His  prayers  were  reality.  Therefore 
the  glory  of  His  miracles  Christ  afterwards  attributed 
to  the  Father,  and  when  He  raised  Lazarus  He 
ascribed  this  to  the  Father  and  thanked  the  Father 
who  always  heard  Him.  But  not  like  any  other 
prophet,  relying  upon  the  omnipotence  of  God,  did 
Jesus  perform  miracles,  but  by  His  own  omnipotence. 
How  did  He  raise  Lazarus  from  the  dead  ?  "I  am 
the  resurrection  and  the  life."  In  Him  there  was 
the  resurrection  power — and  to  raise  the  dead  im- 
plies omnipotence.  And  thus  also  it  is  with  the 
omniscience  of  Jesus.  It  is  true  that  Jesus  says  of 
that  hour  when  the  Father  shall  send  again  the  Son, 
He  knoweth  not.  Here  there  was  a  limitation  of 
knowledge,  but  Jesus  knew  that  He  did  not  know  it, 
and  said  that  this  was  kept  from  Him  during  that 
time,  throwing  all  the  more  light  on  all  the  other 
declarations  that  He  made.  As  He  says  to  Nico- 
demus,  "  We  know  that  we  speak."  "  The  Son  of 
Man  who  is  in  heaven  is  the  only  one  who,  having 
come  down  from  heaven,  shall  ascend  again."  "  I 
am  the  truth,"  He  says  ;  and  like  God  Himself,  He 
says,  "  Verily,  verily,  I  say  unto  you." 

In  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  Jesus  speaks  as  a 
prophet,  but  He  speaks  as  the  Son  of  God — as  God 
manifest  in  the  flesh.  "  Verily,  verily,  I  say  unto 
you."  He  contrasts  Himself  with  the  Jehovah  of  the 
Old  Testament,  and  if  I  may  use  that  expression  He 


AND  DECISIVE  69 


shows  that  Jehovah  is  now  reveahng  Himself  in  a 
more  glorious  manner  than  He  did  before.  When 
Jesus  as  a  prophet  speaks  of  the  last  day,  how  does 
He  speak  ?  "  Many  shall  say  unto  me  ;  and  /  shall 
say  unto  them  '  depart  from  me.'  "  Therefore  Jesus 
in  His  humanity  beholds  Himself  as  the  judge  of  the 
quick  and  the  dead.  The  secrets  of  the  future  are 
before  Him.  And  when  He  privately  instructs  His 
disciples  about  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  and  the 
second  advent,  He  refers  to  the  prophet  Daniel  ;  but 
He  says,  "  When  the  Son  of  Man  shall  come  in  his 
glory." 

Another  point — for  there  is  not  a  single  loophole 
of  escape.  When  Jesus  rose  again  from  the  dead 
where  was  then  the  limitation  of  His  human  know- 
ledge, why  did  He  lead  back  His  disciples,  on  all  the 
occasions  when  He  appeared  unto  them,  to  Moses 
and  the  prophets,  as  if  this  was  the  only  way  in 
which  He  could  reveal  Himself  and  manifest  Himself 
to  the  children  of  men  ?  "  Ought  not  the  Christ 
to  have  passed  through  sufferings  unto  glory  ? " 
"  And  beginning  with  Moses  and  the  prophets,  he 
expounded  unto  them  all  the  things  concerning 
himself"  And  this  was  His  last  commission— that 
they  must  preach  as  it  was  written  and  as  it  was 
fulfilled.  No,  my  beloved  friends,  whatever  stage  of 
conviction  you  may  be  in  now,  and  whatever  influ- 
ences may  surround  you,  examine  the  question,  test 
it,  search  it,  sift  it  ;  this  is  my  testimony — that  as 
true  as  God  the  Father  is  the  Father  of  all  truth, 
and  the  Spirit  of  God  is  the  Spirit  of  truth,  and 
Jesus  Christ  is  the  Son  of  God,  so  true  is  the 
testimony  of  Jesus  concerning  Moses  and  the 
prophets — the    whole    Old    Testament    scripture    as 


70         THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

it  was  embodied  in  that  book  which  the  Jews  called 
Scripture, — that  it  is  infallible,  that  it  is  authoritative, 
that  it  reveals  Himself  in  all  His  glorious  person  and 
in  the  perfections  of  His  work. 

And  so  did  the  apostles  preach.  Where  have 
you  got  your  Christianity  from  ?  Who  has  converted 
you,  pagans,  into  worshippers  of  God  and  Christ  ? 
Have  you  not  derived  everything  from  the  apostles  ? 
Are  you  not  built  upon  the  foundation  of  the 
apostles  ?  And  how  did  the  apostles  preach  ? 
"  That  Christ  died  according  to  the  Scriptures." 
Not  a  single  syllable  of  the  New  Testament  was 
written  then.  And  they  preached  that  Christ  rose 
again,  "  According  to  the  Scriptures."  And  when 
people  came  to  believe  in  Jesus  how  did  the  apostles 
teach  them  ?  They  taught  them  from  Daniel  about 
the  man  of  sin,  the  Antichrist  that  was  to  come. 
They  taught  them  from  the  history  of  the  Jews  in 
the  wilderness,  that  all  these  things  had  happened  to 
us  for  an  example.  They  referred  them  to  the  whole 
of  prophecy  that  had  gone  before,  saying  that  by  the 
consolation  which  the  Scriptures  give  us,  and  by 
patiently  waiting  for  the  fulfilment  of  the  Scripture, 
we  should  have  the  hope,  namely,  of  Christ's  second 
advent.  By  Scripture  they  instructed  the  unbelievers ; 
by  Scripture  they  instructed  those  who  had  already 
become  Christians,  and  the  apostle  Peter,  shortly 
before  he  laid  aside  his  tabernacle  and  finished 
his  course,  knowing  the  great  errors  and  the  false 
prophets  which  were  already  beginning  their  pernici- 
ous work,  reminded  the  Christians  of  the  testimony 
of  the  transfiguration  of  Christ — reminded  them  also 
of  the  sure  word  of  prophecy.  To  this  they  were  to 
attend  ;  by  this  they  were  to  be  cheered  ;  and  by 


AND  DECISIVE 


this  they  were  to  be  defended  against  all  the  assaults 
of  the  wicked  One.  And  the  apostle  Paul,  when  he 
had  reached  the  end  of  his  earthly  journey,  and 
after  he  had  declared  to  Timothy  that  perilous  times 
were  coming,  had  only  one  counsel  to  give  him  : 
"  From  a  child  thou  hast  known  the  Holy  Scriptures 
which  are  able  to  make  thee  wise  unto  salvation 
through  faith  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus."  "  All  Scrip- 
ture is  given  by  inspiration  of  God." 

But  I  must  come  now  to  the  New  Testament. 
Jesus  Christ  is  Jehovah.  Only  Jehovah  can  say  "  I, 
even  I,  am  he  that  forgiveth  thy  sins."  Jesus  says 
"  Be  of  good  cheer;  thy  sins  are  forgiven  thee."  Only 
Jehovah  can  say  "  They  have  forsaken  me,  the 
fountain  of  living  water."  Jesus  says  "  If  any  man 
thirst,  let  him  come  unto  me,  and  drink."  Only 
Jehovah  can  say  "  As  a  bridegroom  rejoiceth  over 
his  bride,  so  will  I  rejoice,  O  Zion,  over  thee." 
Jesus  says  "  I  am  the  bridegroom,  and  how  can  the 
children  of  the  bridechamber  fast  while  I  am  with 
them  ?  "  Only  Jehovah  can  say  "  Thou  shalt  love 
the  Lord  thy  God  with  all  thy  heart  ; "  and  Jesus 
says  "  If  any  man  loves  father  or  mother  or  wife  or 
child  more  than  me,  he  is  not  worthy  of  me."  Who 
is  Jesus  ?  He  is  Jehovah,  and  Jehovah  promised  that 
He  would  come,  and  Jehovah  has  come  according  to 
His  promise.  Because  Jesus  is  Jehovah,  He  is  the 
centre  to  gather  Israel.  "  How  often  would  I  have 
gathered  thy  children  together."  Could  any  prophet 
ever  have  said  that,  or  any  angel  ?  Could  the  angel 
Michael  come  down  and  say  "  Israel,  come  to  me  " .? 
Jesus  is  the  centre  of  Israel.  Jesus  says  "  I  will 
build  my  Church " — "  uiy  Church."  The  ccclesia 
belongs  only  to  Jehovah.      When  Jesus  says  to  Peter 


72         THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

"  Feed  my  sheep,"  how  are  they  His  sheep,  unless  He 
be  Jehovah  who  is  the  shepherd  of  the  flock  ?  There- 
fore said  Jesus  to  Jerusalem  when  He  foretold  the 
destruction  of  that  city,  "  Behold,  I  sent  unto  you 
prophets  and  wise  men  and  scribes."  Who  sent  the 
Old  Testament  prophets  ?  Jehovah^  and  if  a  man 
was  not  sent  by'^JeTTovah  he  was  a  false  prophet. 
Who  sends  the  apostles  ?  Jesus,  who  is  Jehovah. 
I  And  what  is  the  authority  that  Jesus  gives  to  the 
'  apostles  ?  "  He  that  heareth  you  heareth  me." 
■  Notice  that.  Not  "  As  it  were  me."  He  that  heareth 
'you  heareth  me.  And  therefore  it  is  that  Jesus  pro- 
mised to  the  apostles  the  Spirit  that  was  to  lead  them 
into  all  truth.  Jesus  did  not  say  "  I  have  been  three 
years  with  Peter  and  James  and  John  and  Philip 
and  Thomas.  They  love  me  ;  they  believe  in  me. 
They  are  loyal  men.  They  remember  what  I  have 
told  them  ;  I  rely  now  upon  them  to  spread  Christian- 
ity." That  is  what  you  read  in  these  silly  boastful 
nineteenth -century  books  ;  but  no.  Jesus  knew 
that  without  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  without  His  special 
presence  and  authority,  the  apostles  were  altogether 
unable  for  the  high  task  which  He  had  assigned  to 
them.  And  therefore  are  the  writings  of  the  evangel- 
ists and  of  the  apostles  the  very  words  of  Jesus,  the 
teaching  of  Jesus.  We  are  built  upon  the  foundation 
of  the  apostles.  They  require  no  successors,  because, 
up  to  this  very  day,  they  are  in  the  midst  of  us  and 
teach  us.  And,  like  the  disciples  in  the  days  of  the 
first  Pentecost,  we  continue  steadfastly  in  the  teach- 
ing of  the  apostles,  which  is  none  other  than  the 
teaching  of  Jesus. 

Therefore  the  apostle   Paul   in    the  epistle  to  the 
Romans,  in  a  passage  which  is  very  little  considered, 


AND  DECISIVE  73 


says  that  the  mystery  which  had  been  hidden  for 
ages  was  made  known  unto  all  nations  by  the  pro- 
phetical writings,  in  which  He  does  not  refer  to  the 
Old  Testament  prophets,  but  to  Himself  and  to  the 
other  writers  of  the  New  Testament.  And  these 
writings  of  the  apostles  have  this  peculiar  character- 
istic. All  is  in  them  more  fully  revealed  than  in 
the  Old  Testament,  and  yet  God  uses  more  the 
individuality  of  the  writer  than  He  ever  did  before. 
And  therefore  all  the  New  Testament  writings  with 
a  {q.\\  exceptions  are  in  the  form  of  letters — the 
personal  testimony  and  experience  of  the  apostles, 
and  yet  the  very  Word  of  God  and  revelation  of 
Jesus  Christ. 

Now  to  sum  up,  Jesus  says :  If  you  believe 
Moses,  ipso  facto  you  believe  Me.  If  you  do  not 
believe  the  writings  of  Moses,  of  course  you  do  not 
believe  My  sayings.  Moses  wrote  of  Me.  Each 
word  is  weighty.  Moses  himself  wrote — committed 
to  writing — and  Jesus  is  the  sum  and  substance  of  J 
what  he  wrote!  ThaTls7"He  fs  the  foundation  of  the/ 
vvlToTeTiistory  of  the  Old  Testament  and  of  its  pro- 
phetic teaching.  And  not  merely  this  passage  or  that 
l)assage,  but  the  whole  collection  of  books  as  they 
were  among  the  Jews,  is  the  Scripture  which  cannot 
be  broken  and  in  which  Christ  Himself  is  delineated. 

Now  I  come  to  the  next  point — the  relation  of 
the  Spirit  of  God  to  the  Scripture.  There  are  many 
people  who  ask  questions  about  the  inspiration  of 
Scripture  to  whom  the  best  answer  would  be  this  : 
"  Have  you  received  the  Holy  Ghost  ?  Is  there  any- 
thing that  you  believe  because  the  Holy  Ghost  has 
taught  you  ?  Do  you  know  that  a  man  cannot 
believe  in  Jesus,  unless   the  Holy  Ghost  teaches  him 


74         THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

and  enables  him  ?  What  do  you  know  about  the 
Holy  Ghost  at  all,  that  you  ask  this  question  whether 
the  Scripture  is  inspired  ?  "  Father,  Son,  and  Holy 
Ghost, — one  God.  The  Father  gives ;  the  Son  is  the 
channel  ;  the  Holy  Ghost  imparts.  The  grace  of 
the  Lord  Jesus,  the  love  of  the  Father,  come  to  us  in 
the  communion  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  God  the  Father 
created.  By  the  Word  He  created,  and  the  Spirit  of 
God  moved  upon  the  face  of  the  waters.  The  Father 
sent  Jesus  ;  Jesus  came  of  His  own  accord  ;  and  by 
the  Holy  Ghost  was  He  conceived  in  the  womb  of 
the  Virgin  Mary. 

Jesus  died.  The  Father  gave  Him  up  to  death, 
and  by  the  everlasting  Spirit  He  gave  Himself  as  a 
sacrifice  for  our  sins.  The  Father  can  do  nothing 
except  by  Jesus,  and  through  the  Spirit.  Christ  can 
do  nothing  except  by  the  Father  and  by  the  power 
of  the  Spirit.  The  Spirit  knows  nothing,  says  nothing, 
does  nothing,  but  according  to  the  Father's  will,  and 
through  and  in  Christ  Jesus.  And  so  every  man 
that  has  been  converted  says,  as  that  little  boy  said 
to  Mr.  M'Cheyne,  when  he  was  dying,  "  I  love  the 
Father  who  loved  me  and  gave  Jesus  to  die  for  me. 
I  love  Jesus  who  shed  His  precious  blood  for  me  ; 
and  I  love  the  Holy  Ghost  who  made  me  know  the 
love  of  the  Father  and  the  love  of  the  Son." 

Now,  with  people  who  know  this  it  is  possible  to 
speak.  What  is  the  use  of  speaking  to  the  others 
on  this  point  ?  Oh  yes,  on  many  other  points,  but 
not  on  this  point.  As  Scripture  is  the  whole  counsel 
of  God  unto  salvation, — as  Scripture  is  the  perfect 
Dor-traitureof  Christ,  both  in  His  first  and  His  second 
advent,  so  Scripture  could  not  have  come  into  exist- 
ence without  the   Holy  Ghost.      I   say  to  the  people 


AND  DECISIVE  75 


every  Sunday  :  "  Let  us  read  the  Word  of  God "  ; 
and  then  I  say  "  The  1 9th  Psalm  of  David."  What 
is  the  connecting  link  ?  The  Spirit  spake  by  David. 
The  Spirit  speaks.  What  the  Spirit  spoke  by  the 
mouth  of  David  had  to  be  fulfilled  in  the  history  of 
Jesus.  The  Spirit  speaks  and  testifies.  "  Your  sins  I 
will  remember  no  more."  "  Holy  men  spake  as  they 
were  moved  by  the  Holy  Ghost."  What  is  that 
moving  of  the  Holy  Ghost  ?  It  is  a  very  strange 
thing  that  even  the  heathen  poets,  when  they  had 
some  great  subject  that  they  wished  to  describe, 
invoked  the  muse.  As  Homer  says,  "  Tell  me,  O 
muse,  the  man  in  all  his  wanderings  " — speaking  of 
Ulysses.  Or,  "  O  goddess,  I  wish  to  sing  the  wrath 
of  the  son  of  Peleus,  Achilles," — feeling  that  the 
human  spirit,  as  it  were,  was  not  sufficient  to  describe 
things  worthy  of  their  grandeur.  The  prophets 
spake,  not  by  their  own  imagination,  nor  by  their 
own  impulse,  as  I  showed  to  you  before.  They 
spake  as  they  were  moved  by  the  Holy  Ghost, 
carried  along  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  the  Holy  Ghost 
bearing  them  along,  not  destroying  their  individuality, 
but  upholding  them  continually.  So  does  the 
apostle  Paul  say  that  all  Scripture  is  God-spirited, 
breathed  by  the  Spirit  of  God.  What  a  wonderful 
truth  is  revealed  to  us  here !  We  are  not  able  to 
understand  it.  We  are  not  able  to  describe 
how  it  is  that  the  Spirit  of  God  worked  in 
these  men.  We  know  one  thing — that  they  them- 
selves did  not  fully  understand  what  they  wrote, 
"  teaching  diligently  what  the  Spirit  that  was  in 
them  did  signify  "  ;  and  we  know  that  all  the  narra- 
tives which  are  contained  in  the  Old  Testament 
could   not  have  been  fully  understood   at  the  time, 


76        THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED— 

because  they  are  for  our  instruction,  upon  whom  the 
latter  days  have  come.  Yet  this  is  the  truth — that 
they  themselves,  men  of  God,  holy  men,  wrote  as 
they  were  moved  by  the  Spirit  of  God. 

And  if  this  is  true,  let  me  note,  in  passing,  one 
of  the  peculiarities  of  the  present  day — what  is 
called  "  advanced  "  preaching.  "  Advanced  "  preach- 
ing means  this — to  make  Moses  and  the  prophets 
say  as  little  as  possible,  and,  if  possible,  no  more 
than  we  could  know  without  them  ;  and  the  great 
question  is  always,  "  Oh,  you  think  this  Psalm  refers 
to  Christ  ?  How  could  David  know  this  ?  David 
could  not  have  an  understanding  of  this.  We  must 
remember  the  time  of  David,  the  circumstances  of 
David."  Oh  yes,  there  is  a  different  exposition  of 
Scripture  which  is  not  Scripture  itself  The  New 
Testament  exposition  of  the  Old  Testament  is  the 
only  true  exposition,  for  it  explains  not  merely  what 
David  and  the  prophets  could  understand  and  tried 
to  understand,  but  what  the  Holy  Ghost  understood, 
and  deposited  with  them,  distinctly,  in  this  way. 
Supposing  that  there  is  a  little  plant  before  me.  I 
can  examine  it.  But  supposing  that  I  have  a 
powerful  microscope.  I  look  at  it,  and  now  I  can 
see  a  number  of  things  which  before  were  entirely 
non-existent  to  me.  Have  I  put  anything  into  that 
plant  that  was  not  there  before  ?  Have  I  changed 
the  plant.  Have  I  introduced  my  pet  ideas  into 
that  plant.  So,  when  we  read  Leviticus  with  the 
light  of  the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews  ;  when  we  read 
the  whole  Old  Testament  with  the  light  of  the 
evangelists  and  the  epistles,  that  is  exposition,  not 
imposition.  We  do  not  put  anything  into  it.  The 
Holy  Spirit  enlarges  our  vision  to  see  what  is  there. 


AND  DECISIVE  77 


There  are  many  questions  in  connection  with  this  to 
be  answered  and  difficulties  to  be  solved  ;  but  I  do 
not  enter  into  these.  I  have  shown  you  what  the 
Word  of  God,  as  the  basis  of  the  doctrines  which 
are  essential  and  vital,  teaches  us  ;  and  any  one  of 
you  who  believes  in  God  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy 
Ghost,  and  in  Jesus  Christ,  that  He  is  both  the  Son 
of  Mary  and  the  Son  of  the  Most  High,  must  neces- 
sarily grant  what  I  have  said.  Upon  such  broad 
basis  let  the  thing  rest  at  first,  because  it  is  for  all 
Christian  people. 

And  now  I  pass  on  to  the  last  point.  How  am 
I  sure  that  the  Scripture  is  the  Word  of  God  ?  Oh  ! 
people  are  so  anxious  nowadays.  This  man  will 
not  believe  in  the  miracle  of  Jonah,  and  this  man 
will  not  believe  in  the  extermination  of  the  Canaan- 
ites  being  by  God's  commandment,  and  another 
cannot  believe  the  Psalms,  because  David  speaks  of 
the  vengeance  which  is  to  overtake  God's  enemies. 
This  thing  arises,  that  thing,  this  difficulty,  that  diffi- 
culty, all  little  isolated  fragments  and  bits  ;  they  do 
not  regard  the  whole.  We  may  go  on  arguing  in  this 
way  for  thousands  of  years  and  not  bring  a  person 
any  nearer  to  the  truth.  This  Bible  is  not  a  book 
in  the  way  in  which  there  arc  other  books.  God 
the  living  one  is  testified  of  there.  Worship  not  the 
book.  Never  think  of  the  Bible  as  separate  from 
God  the  Father  and  Jesus  the  Saviour,  and  the 
agency  and  work  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  We  are  sure 
that  Scripture  is  the  Word  of  God,  because  the 
Spirit  of  God  testifies  of  it  as  the  only  ground  of 
our  absolute  certainty.  There  are  many  arguments, 
there  are  many  evidences,  there  are  many  things  to 
predispose   you    to    listen    to   the    Scripture.      As   I 


78         THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED— 

have  already  pointed  out,  the  sublimity  of  its 
doctrine,  the  beauty  and  attractiveness  of  its  lan- 
guage, the  grandeur  of  its  commands,  the  unity  of 
all  its  component  parts,  the  power  which  it  has 
exerted  in  the  world  and  in  the  Church — all  these 
things  are  difficult  to  gainsay.  There  is  enough 
evidence  to  make  every  person  guilty  in  the  sight 
of  God  who  does  not  acknowledge  the  Scripture  ; 
but  tell  me  how  you  are  sure  that  Jesus  is  the 
Son  of  God,  or  that  Jesus  died  for  your  sin,  or  that 
you  are  a  child  of  God  ?  It  is  the  Spirit  that  wit- 
nesses, and  the  Spirit  is  truth. 

And  all  Christians  and  all  Christian  ministers 
ought  to  have  the  fulness  of  conviction  that  the 
Spirit  is  truth.  There  are  certain  portions  of 
Scripture  in  which,  as  it  were,  you  are  not  at  home. 
You  have  not  felt  their  power.  But  other  people 
have  felt  their  power.  Some  generations  of  the 
Church  of  Christ  are  led  into  one  portion  of  God's 
Word  and  some  into  another.  The  Scripture  beareth 
witness  unto  the  whole  Church  of  Christ — the  Spirit, 
with  the  Scripture,  is  truth,  for  as  is  the  Holy  Ghost 
so  is  the  Scripture.  The  object  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
is  to  glorify  Christ.  The  object  of  the  Scripture  is 
to  glorify  Christ.  The  method  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
is  to  convince,  to  save,  to  comfort  with  the  assurance 
of  God's  favour,  to  enlighten,  instruct,  warn,  guide, 
cleanse,  establish  those  that  come  to  Christ.  The 
object  of  the  Scripture  is  to  be  profitable  for 
doctrine,  for  correction,  for  instruction  in  righteous- 
ness, that  the  man  of  God  may  be  perfect,  furnished 
thoroughly  unto  every  good  work.  As  is  the  Scrip- 
ture, so  is  the  Spirit — one  aim,  one  method.  The 
two  go  together.      The  power  of  the  Bible  when  the 


AND  DECISIVE  79 


Holy  Ghost  is  with  it  is  the  power  of  the  Word  of 
God.  Oh,  how  many  there  have  been  opposed  to 
God,  but  the  Word  of  God  has  been  to  them  Hke 
tlie  hammer  that  breaks  in  pieces  the  rock.  Oh, 
how  many  there  have  been  in  sadness  when  they 
heard  the  voice,  "  Come  unto  me,  all  ye  that  labour 
and  are  heavy  laden,  and  I  will  give  you  rest." 
A  poor  man,  as  he  was  led  to  the  scaffold  because 
he  had  committed  murder,  on  being  asked  whether 
he  was  afraid  to  die,  gave  this  answer — "  I  rely  on 
one  verse  of  Scripture,  '  God  so  loved  the  world,  that 
he  gave  his  only  begotten  Son,'  when  I  heard  this 
I  saw  the  arms  of  God  wide  open,  '  that  whosoever 
believeth  in  him  shall  not  perish,  but  have  eternal 
life.'  When  I  read  this  I  felt  the  arms  tightly  close 
in  upon  me,  and  I  am  saved."  Do  you  remember 
how  Martin  Luther  by  the  reading  of  the  Psalms, 
by  the  reading  of  the  epistle  to  the  Galatians,  by 
the  reading  of  the  epistle  to  the  Romans  was,  out 
of  the  depth  of  despair,  transplanted  into  a  heaven 
of  thanksgiving  and  jubilation  ?  What  was  it  that 
was  the  instrument  of  the  conversion  of  Augustine 
but  that,  opening  the  Scriptures,  he  saw  the  verse  in 
the  13  th  chapter  of  Romans  which  called  him  to  rise 
out  of  darkness  and  out  of  night.  How  many  Jews 
have  been  converted  simply  by  the  reading  of  the  5  3rd 
chapter  of  the  prophet  Isaiah — as  Luther  calls  it,  the 
clearest  gospel  in  all  the  Bible — and  after  a  man  has 
been  converted,  is  there  anything  else  in  the  whole 
world,  are  there  any  sermons,  are  there  any  words  of 
God's  witnesses  that  can  feed  him,  that  can  strengthen 
him,  that  can  encourage  him,  that  can  rebuke  him, 
and  that  can  give  him  light  and  assurance  in  the 
hour  of  death  ?      God   has   taken   s^reat  care  in  the 


8o        THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED — 

Bible  that  we  should  know  what  the  Bible  is. 
There  are  many  passages  in  Scripture  describing 
the  excellence  of  Scripture.  Such  a  passage  is  the 
1 1 6th  Psalm.  There  are  no  vain  repetitions. 
There  is  always  something  fresh  and  something 
new.  And  what  is  the  testimony  concerning  the 
Word  of  God  ?  Here  is  a  picture  of  all  life.  We 
see  the  young  man  who  has  a  great  ideal  of  perfec- 
tion before  him.  We  see  a  man  who  is  in  affliction 
and  in  sorrow,  and  we  see  a  man  who  is  despised 
and  mocked  by  the  people  around  him.  We  see  a 
man  who  is  surrounded  by  adversaries  and  by 
enemies  who  are  continually  wresting  his  words. 
We  see  a  man  who  is  often  disheartened,  whose 
soul  is  cleaving  to  the  dust,  but  in  every  circum- 
stance of  life  it  is  the  Word  of  God  to  which  he 
looks,  not  to  the  maxims  which  prevail  among 
Israel,  not  to  the  traditions  of  men  as  preached 
among  them,  not  to  the  ideas  that  are  held  by  the 
people  with  whom  he  is  associated,  but  to  God's 
Word  only.  God  speaks  to  him,  and  this  Word  of 
God  is  all-sufficient  to  him.  He  knows  of  no  other 
piety,  he  knows  of  no  other  devoutness,  he  knows  of 
no  other  diligence  in  God's  service,  he  knows  of  no 
other  carefulness  to  do  the  thing  which  is  right 
apart  from  the  Word  of  God,  for  "  all  Scripture  is 
given  by  inspiration  of  God,  and  therefore  it  is 
profitable  for  doctrine,  for  reproof,  for  correction,  for 
instruction  in  righteousness,  that  the  man  of  God 
may  be  perfect,  thoroughly  furnished  unto  every 
good  work."  The  Holy  Ghost  accompanies  the 
Word,  and  the  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost  is  in  the 
Word.  Be  not  deceived,  the  Word  of  God  in  Jli.e 
hiehest  sense  means  the   Son   of  God.      He  is  the 


AND  DECISIVE  8i 


Word.  Word  of  God  in  the  sense  next  to  that 
means  the  Gospel  message,  "  And  this  is  the  Word 
which  by  the  Gospel  is  preached  unto  you."  And 
the  Bible  never  for  a  single  moment  should  be 
separated  from  Christ,  the  living  Word,  and  from 
the  message  of  God,  which  is  the  treasure  of  the 
Word ; — and  the  work  and  agency  of  the  Holy  Ghost 
is  the  embodiment  and  incorporation  of  that  Word. 

Separate  it  is  from  all  other  books.  As  Augustine 
says  of  the  Bible,  "  What  is  the  Bible  else  but  a  letter 
of  God  Almighty  addressed  to  His  creatures,  in  which 
letter  we  hear  the  voice  of  God,  and  behold  the  heart 
of  our  heavenly  Father  ? "  Be  established  in  the 
truth. 

The  Bible  needs  no  defence.  The  Bible  defends 
itself;  the  Bible  explains  itself  I  do  not  dread  the 
pagans,  I  do  not  dread  the  infidels,  I  do  not  dread 
sceptics.  I  dread  the  false,  compromising  and  con- 
ciliatory modern  teaching  in  our  Churches.  That  is 
the  only  thing  that  is  to  be  dreaded.  Let  the  Bible 
only  be  kept  separate.  As  it  is,  it  needs  no  defence. 
Britannia  needs  no  bulwarks,  and  why?  Because  God 
has  separated  her  by  the  sea.  That  is  her  strength 
and  her  defence.  The  Scripture  needs  no  bulwarks. 
The  Word  of  God  is  the  sword  of  the  Spirit,  and 
who  ever  heard  of  defending  a  sword  ?  It  is  the  / 
enemy  who  will  advise  you  to  put  the  sword  into 
the  sheath — a  beautiful  sheath  with  all  kinds  of  meta- 
physical and  artistic  ornamentations.  The  sword 
must  be  unsheathed,  for  the  sword  is  aggressive. 
Oh  that  we  may  know  the  Scripture  not  merely  as 
the  sword  of  the  Spirit,  for  that  sword,  although  it 
may  inflict  pain,  is  meant  for  healing.  Oh  that  we 
may  know  it  as  the  gentle  dew  and  rain  that  comes 

G 


82  THE  TESTIMONY  OF  JESUS  CONSIDERED 

down  from  heaven  and  returneth  not  thither,  but 
prospercth  in  the  things  which  please  God.  My 
wish  for  each  one  of  you,  and  for  myself,  is  this — 
that  when  the  time  comes  that  we  must  part  even 
from  this  dear  book  we  may  be  able  to  say.  This 
has  been  God's  message  to  me  in  the  Scripture.  "  I 
have  loved  thee  with  an  everlasting  love,  therefore 
with  lovincf  kindness  have  I  drawn  thee."      Amen. 


V 

THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

The  Jews  the  custodians  of  the  Old  Testament  Scriptures,  and  witnesses 
to  the  truth  of  BiMe  history  and  prophecy — This  shown  in  the 
epistle  to  the  Romans  by  the  Apostle  Paul — To  them  were  com- 
mitted the  oracles  of  God — These  oracles  refer  largely  to  the  Jews — 
They  were  all  written  by  Jews — All  other  religions  can  be  accounted 
for  by  the  cliaracter  of  the  nations  among  whom  prevalent — Not  so 
the  religion  of  the  Jews — It  found  them  stubborn,  and  hostile  to  it — 
Absurdity  of  the  fanciful  theories  as  to  the  books  of  Moses  having 
been  fabricated  after  the  Exile,  when  these  books  so  condemn  the 
Jews  themselves — Pascal  on  this  subject — Particular  instructions  as 
to  the  Mosaic  records,  etc. — The  roll  of  the  book  in  Josiah's  days — 
Imputation  of  dishonesty — Parallel  with  the  Bible  in  the  Middle 
Ages — The  Jews  had  never  any  doubt  about  these  books — These 
books  selected  out  of  a  large  literature — Apocrypha  never  pretends  to 
be  Scripture,  but  shows  reverence  to  all  the  Scriptures — Bibliolatry 
of  the  post- Babylonian  period — The  letter  without  the  Spirit — The 
position  of  the  Jews  for  the  last  1800  years — Not  hopelessly  fallen 
— The  great  future  before  them — The  Apostle  Paul's  triumphal 
arch. 

The  subject  this  morning  is  the  following :  The 
Jews  the  custodians  of  the  Old  Testament  Scrip- 
tures, and  witnesses  to  the  truth  of  Bible  history 
and  prophecy. 

You  remember  that  in  the  epistle  to  the  Romans, 
which  is  the  most  comprehensive  and  systematic 
exposition  of  the  gospel  of  Christ  which  the  apostle 
Paul   preached   for  the  obedience  of  faith  among  all 


84     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

the  nations  of  the  world,  the  question  is  asked  by 
the  apostle,  "  What  advantage,  then,  hath  the  Jew  ? " 
He  had  proved  in  the  previous  chapters  that  both 
Jews  and  Gentiles  were  guilty  before  God,  and  that 
the  Jew  having  received  far  greater  privileges  was 
under  greater  condemnation  ;  and  now  the  question 
at  the  very  outset  of  the  epistle  bursts  forth,  "  What 
advantage,  then,  hath  the  Jew  ?  "  And  the  answer 
which  he  gives  is  in  every  respect  instructive  and 
striking  :  "  Much,  every  way,  but  chiefly  that  unto 
them  were  committed  the  oracles  of  God  "  ; — a  very 
important  expression  which  the  apostle  uses  with 
regard  to  all  the  communications  which  God  had 
made  to  Israel  ; — the  revelations  which  He  had  given 
to  them,  and  which  He  had  afterwards  caused  to  be 
written  and  to  be  transmitted  to  future  generations. 
He  uses  the  very  strongest  expression  to  convince  us 
that  these  are  the  very  words  of  God,  authoritative 
and  everlasting.  And  he  also  used  another  expres- 
sion, which  is  very  striking — that  these  oracles,  as 
the  very  Word  itself  also  teaches  us,  came  down  from 
heaven,  and  that  they  were  merely  entrusted  to  the 
guardianship  of  Israel.  The  Israelites  did  not  pro- 
duce them.  They  only  received  them.  And  the 
third  thing  he  shows  in  these  short  words  is  that  in 
this  consisted  the  sum  and  substance  of  all  their 
privileges  and  advantages — that  these  holy  Scrip- 
tures, if  they  are  received  by  faith  and  by  the  bless- 
ing of  the  Holy  Ghost,  are  the  summary  of  all  the 
blessings  and  privileges  which  it  is  the  purpose  of 
God  to  bestow  upon  His  chosen  ones. 

From  the  very  outset  let  me  remind  you  of  this 
fact,  which  all  of  you  who  are  familiar  with  Scripture 
must  have  often  considered — that  with  the  exception 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES    85 

of  the  first  eleven  chapters  of  the  book  of  Genesis, 
the  book  of  Job,  the  book  of  Proverbs,  and  the  book 
of  Ecclesiastes,  the  rest  of  the  Old  Testament  is 
occupied  entirely  with  the  Jews, — God's  deaUngs  with 
them,  their  experiences,  the  promises  which  were 
made  to  them.  Tlie  whole  Old  Testament,  with  the 
exception  of  the  very  few  sections  which  I  have 
enumerated,  deals. exclusively  with  the  Jews.  When 
we  come  to  the  books  of  the  New  Covenant  we  find 
that  the  four  gospels  have  to  do  exclusively  with  the 
Jews,  and  with  the  manifestation  of  Jehovah  in  the 
person  of  Jesus  in  the  midst  of  them.  The  book  of 
Acts,  in  the  first  chapters,  has  to  do  exclusively  with 
the  Jews  when  the  Gospel  was  first  preached  in 
Jerusalem  and  in  Judaea.  And  afterwards,  although 
it  goes  to  the  Gentiles,  yet  never  for  a  single  mo- 
ment does  it  leave  out  of  sight  Israel,  and  the  very 
concluding  chapter  of  the  book  of  Acts  shows  us  the 
apostle  Paul  in  Ronie  testifying  to  the  Jews  that  he 
alleged  none  other  things  than  those  which  Moses 
and  the  prophets  had  testified.  And  even  in  the 
epistles  we  never  lose  sight  of  the  Jews,  for  as  I 
have  already  referred  to  the  epistle  to  the  Romans, 
I  beg  you  to  notice  the  significance  and  importance 
of  this  instance.  Here,  if  anywhere,  you  might  have 
expected  that  the  apostle  Paul,  speaking  to  the 
whole  world  before  the  dispensation  of  the  times  of 
the  Gentiles,  would  leave  out  of  sight  Israel,  and 
that  if  he  did  produce  Israel  it  would  only  be  as  a 
preparation,  as  a  scaffolding  that  was  to  be  removed 
as  soon  as  the  building  could  be  exhibited.  But  in 
this  world-wide  epistle,  in  this,  the  epistle  of  the 
Gentiles,  the  apostle  devotes  three  chapters  to  the 
subject  of  the  Jews,  for  it  was  an  integral   part  of 


86     THE  JEWS —AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES 

the  whole  counsel  of  God  which  he  had  to  give  to 
the  Church,  and  his  great  anxiety  was  lest  the  Gen- 
tile Church  should  be  ignorant  concerning  this  mys- 
tery. And  therefore  we  find  that  in  the  book  of  the 
Apocalypse  we  return  again  to  the  Jews.  So  all 
Scripture  brings  before  you  the  Jews  embodied  in 
everything  that  is  important  and  essential  for  our 
salvation,  connected  with  the  holy  purposes  of  God 
which  have  not  yet  been  fully  realised.  And  this 
fact  alone  shows  to  us  that  an  exposition  of  Scrip- 
ture in  which  the  Jews  do  not  form  an  integral  part 
is  not  a  correct  transcript  of  the  mind  of  the  Spirit. 
It  is  perfectly  true  that  everything  that  happened  to 
the  Jews  was  typical  and  illustrative  of  their  spiritual 
truths  and  experiences — and  for  your  edification  that 
through  their  examples  and  encouragements  you 
might  be  helped  upon  your  way  heavenward,  but  the 
symbolical  and  typical  character  of  that  history  does 
not  in  the  slightest  degree  interfere  with  the  actual 
historical  reality  of  it,  and  with  its  being  the  begin- 
ning of  the  future  which  is  yet  before  us.  You  are 
perfectly  right,  dear  Gentile  Christians,  when  you 
apply  to  yourselves  all  the  promises  that  God  gave  to 
His  people  Israel,  that  He  would  never  leave  them 
or  forsake  them,  and  that,  through  all  their  chastise- 
ments. He  would  bring  them  in  safety  and  give  them 
glory.  But  only  think  for  a  moment  that  if  God 
did  not  keep  these  promises  to  the  people,  to  whom 
He  had  given  them  in  the  first  instance,  what  encour- 
agement would  there  be  for  you  to  believe  that  He 
would  keep  them  to  you  who,  only  by  inference,  are 
able  to  take  them  unto  yourselves. 

And  the  second  point  about  the  Scriptures  is  this. 
These  oracles  of  God  refer  to  such  a  larcre  extent  to 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES      87 


the  Jews  that  they  were  all  written  by  Jews. 
Pharaoh  had  a  dream.  Joseph  alone  could  interpret 
it.  Nebuchadnezzar  had  a  vision.  Daniel  alone 
could  interpret  it.  Israel  is  the  prophetic  nation 
chosen  by  God  for  that  purpose,  and  therefore  all 
the  writers  of  Scripture,  not  even  Luke,  the  beloved 
physician,  excepted,  bclonijed  to  the  chosen  people. 
"  What  advantage,  then,  hath  the  Jew  ? "  Much, 
every  way,  chiefly  because  unto  them  were  com- 
mitted the  oracles  of  God. 

But  think  not  that  I  am  going  to  praise  the 
Jews.  I  only  wish  to  glorify  God,  and  I  only 
wish  to  show,  that  by  sovereign  election  God 
appointed  them  to  be  the  recipients  and  the 
vehicles  of  divine  treasures.  The  oracles  were 
entrusted  to  them.  Some  modern  writers  have 
tried  to  account  for  the  peculiarity  of  the  Old 
Testament  by  the  peculiarities  of  the  Shemitic 
race,  and  have  taught  us  that  there  was  some- 
thing in  the  Shemitic  race  which  peculiarly  fitted 
them  to  think  of  eternal,  sublime,  and  great  sub- 
jects. The  election  of  Shem  was  before  the  elec- 
tion of  Abraham,  and  if  there  were  any  peculiari- 
ties in  the  Shemitic  race,  which  in  any  way  were  in 
accordance  or  in  harmony  with  what  was  afterwards 
to  be  entrusted  to  them,  I  know  not.  He  who  is 
the  Creator  and  the  God  of  nature  is  also  the 
Redeemer,  and  if  there  were  any  such  peculiarities, 
this  is  not  contrary  to  what  is  taught  us  in  Scripture, 
— but  much  better  is  it  for  us  to  look  at  facts  and 
not  at  speculations.  Israel  did  not  find  God.  God 
found  Israel.  Monotheism  made  the  Jews,  the 
Jews  did  not  make  it.  This  is  the  great  peculiarity 
of  the  Scriptures  and  of  the  Jewish  nation  —  that  in 


88     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

them  we  find  something  entirely  different  from  what 
we  see  in  other  nations.  There  is  an  influence  from 
above.  Yes,  with  regard  to  all  other  nations  you 
can  account  for  their  religion  by  their  peculiarities. 

In  the  Greeks,  conscience  was  entirely  subor- 
dinated to  the  sense  of  the  beautiful,  as  Ruskin 
says,  "  The  poets  and  the  philosophers  of  Greece 
made  the  religion  of  Greece."  In  the  Romans,  the 
state  was  everything,  and  their  whole  religion  had 
only  one  purpose — very  subservient  to  the  strength 
and  interest  of  the  commonwealth.  In  the  east,  in 
India  and  Persia,  religion  was  nothing  but  meta- 
physical speculation  of  a  pantheistic  kind,  clothed  in 
ceremonies  and  forms.  It  had  no  God  ;  it  had  no 
eternity.  As  was  the  nation,  so  was  the  religion. 
But  we  cannot  say  that  as  was  Israel  so  was  the 
religion,  because  Israel's  religion  came  down  from 
God. 

And  what  did  it  find  ?  It  found  a  stubborn  and 
a  stiff-necked  nation.  Idolatry  was  in  their  heart, 
as  it  is  in  the  heart  of  all  human  beings.  No  sooner 
had  they  been  brought  out  of  the  land  of  Egypt 
than  they  worshipped  the  golden  calf.  Centuries 
after,  when  the  apostasy  of  Israel  came,  there 
was  a  calf  again,  "  These  be  thy  gods  which 
brought  thee  out  of  Egypt."  In  the  wilderness,  as 
the  prophet  says,  they  sacrificed  unto  Remphan  and 
other  gods.  During  the  period  of  the  Jews  and  of 
the  kings  their  tendency  was  continually  to  idolatry, 
and  the  testimony  of  the  prophets  was  against  this 
idolatrous  inclination  which  manifested  itself  in  two 
ways — either  that  they  worshipped  other  gods,  or 
that  they  worshipped  Jehovah  in  a  heathenish  form 
which  God  had  forbidden. 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES    89 

How  did  Israel  meet  this  religion  then  ?  It  was 
only  through  the  great  and  sad  experiences  of  the 
captivity,  that  the  tendency  to  idolatry  was  driven 
out  of  the  nation.  God  entrusted  the  oracles  to 
Israel,  and  therefore  Moses  and  the  prophets  wrote 
by  inspiration.  They  were  not  the  product  of  their 
age.  They  were  not  the  exponents  of  their  nation. 
They  were  the  exponents  of  the  chosen  among  the 
nation  who  had  been  taught  by  the  Spirit  of  God, 
and  these  chosen  ones  of  the  nation  as  well  as  the 
prophets  received  all  from  above,  from  the  Lord 
God  Most  High. 

Therefore  is  the  Scripture  such  a  wonderful  book, 
and  therefore  are  all  those  fanciful  theories,  about 
the  books  of  Moses  having  been  fabricated  after  the 
exile,  utterly  void  of  common  sense, — as  will  appear 
still  further  from  the  next  point.  There  is  no  other 
nation  on  the  face  of  the  earth  that  could  have  been 
induced  to  preserve  books  which  so  pictured  their 
unthankfulness,  their  constant  apostasies,  comparing 
them  with  the  other  nations  of  the  world  and  saying 
in  effect,  "  You  are  worse  than  any  other  nation — less  ' 
loyal  to  me  than  the  other  nations  are  to  their  false 
gods."  If  we  read  the  five  books  of  Moses  from 
beginning  to  end  how  do  they  furnish  a  continuous 
picture  of  the  wickedness  and  ingratitude  of  Israel  ?  1 
and  so  with  the  other  historical  books.  What  does 
the  prophet  Isaiah  say  ?  "  We  should  have  been 
like  Sodom  and  Gomorrah  if  the  Lord  had  not 
left  a  small  remnant  in  the  midst  of  us."  And 
what  do  all  the  prophets  say  to  Israel  ?  "  Be  not  as 
your  fathers."  Where  is  the  nation  which  would 
have  preserved  for  centuries  such  a  record  testifying 
against   themselves  ?       "  There    is   nothing   good    in 


90     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

Israel.  Do  not  imagine  that  I  have  chosen  you 
because  you  are  better  than  the  other  nations.  It 
was  my  sovereign  love,  and  my  love  for  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob."  That  is  the  work  of  God's  grace 
in  them.  Had  such  a  record  been  artificially  made, 
centuries  upon  centuries  after  the  histories  had  taken 
place,  it  would  not  have  been  received.  What  an 
extraordinary  thing  it  is  that  the  Jews  who  killed 
the  prophets  and  stoned  them  that  were  sent  unto' 
them,  did  not  dare  to  touch  the  written  records  of 
their  lives  and  all  their  testimonies, — nay,  they 
reverenced  those  records  and  they  looked  upon  them 
as  the  testimony  sent  to  them  by  the  Most  High. 
The  lively  oracles  were  entrusted  to  them.  Pascal 
says  most  truly  as  well  as  most  pithily :  "  The 
sincerity  with  which  the  Jews  have  preserved  their 
Scriptures  is  without  parallel  among  the  nations, 
and  has  its  root  not  in  nature,"  for  Pascal  knew  the 
doctrine  of  election  and  of  grace  and  saw  that  it  was 
God  and  God  only  who  had  so  ordered  it. 

But  let  us  look  now  at  the  Scriptures,  for  as  I 
have  often  said  to  you  before,  it  is  not  merely  the 
words  that  were  spoken  ;  it  is  not  merely  the  events 
that  happened  ;  it  is  all  these,  selected  and  arranged 
by  the  guidance  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  incorporated 
in  a  book.  Let  me  remind  you  briefly  of  how  often 
God  commanded  the  things  to  be  written.  In  the 
book  of  Exodus  after  the  victory  of  Amalek,  Moses 
was  commanded  to  write  it  in  the  book,  and  in  that 
same  book  of  Exodus  he  tells  us  that  he  wrote  the 
words  that  the  Lord  had  spoken  in  the  book.  In 
the  book  of  Numbers  we  are  told  that  he  wrote  the 
wanderings  of  Israel  in  a  book.  In  Deuteronomy 
we  are  told   that  the  future  king  was  to  keep  the 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES    91 

book  of  the  law  and  that  he  was  to  read  and 
meditate  on  it;  and  in  that  same  book  of  Deuter- 
onomy, when  God  gives  a  song  to  Moses  for  the 
children  of  Israel,  in  which  their  whole  future  down 
to  the  coming  of  the  great  Deliverer  is  described, 
Moses  was  commanded  to  write  it  in  the  book.  This 
book  was  to  be  kept  by  the  priest,  and  every  seven 
years  it  was  to  be  read  to  the  people.  Joshua  was 
^o  write  his  experiences  in  a  book,  adding  it  to  the 
books  which  already  existed.  So  was  Samuel 
commanded  to  write, — and  he  laid  it  before  the  Lord. 
That  shows  that  it  was  not  a  mere  human  book,  an 
ordinary  literary  production,  but  that  it  was  holy 
unto  the  Lord.  Then  we  find  that  the  first  seventy- 
two  psalms  have  been  collected  together,  and  we  read 
afterwards  "  the  prayers  of  David  the  son  of  Jesse 
are  ended,"  and  afterwards  we  find  that  there  were 
further  collections  of  psalms  in  the  days  of  Hczekiah. 
All  these  commandments  which  are  given  for  writing 
of  the  books  show  us  the  purpose  of  God.  The 
prophet  Isaiah  refers  to  the  book  of  the  law  in  which 
the  people  were  to  read,  and  to  the  prophet  Isaiah 
God  said  that  he  was  to  write  upon  tables  and  then 
to  put  the  writing  into  a  book  in  order  that  it  might 
continue  from  generation  to  generation.  You  re- 
member how  Jeremiah,  after  the  roll,  which  by  the 
command  of  the  Lord  he  had  written,  had  been 
destroyed  by  King  Jehoiakim,  was  commanded  by 
God  to  write  another  roll,  and  to  put  all  the  former 
prophecies  in  it,  and  others  which  were  added,  show- 
ing the  special  punishment  of  Jehoiakim.  And  you 
remember  how  the  prophet  Habakkuk  was  told  by 
God  that  he  was  to  write  distinctly  upon  tables,  so 
distinctly,  that  he  who  ran  might  be  able  to  read.  ^ 


92     7'HE/EWS—AS  CUS7VDIANS  AND   WITNESSES 

There  is  one  fact  that  I  must  refer  to  here, 
namely,  that  in  the  reign  of  King  Josiah  there  was 
found  the  roll  of  the  book  that  had  been  neglected 
for  a  long  time,  and  some  critics  from  this  draw  the 
inference,  that  this  law  could  not  have  existed  all 
these  centuries  and  then  gone  into  oblivion.  It  is 
very  strange  that  modern  writers  tell  us  so  em- 
phatically what  could  not  possibly  have  been.  Surely 
it  is  much  better  to  ask  historians  to  tell  us  what 
could  have  been,  because  it  has  actually  happened. 
What  must  occur  to  every  one  immediately  as  per- 
fectly parallel  to  this,  is  the  history  of  Scripture  for 
many  centuries,  during  the  Middle  Ages.  When 
Martin  Luther  first  began  to  think  on  the  subject, 
he  imagined  that  the  whole  Scripture  was  con- 
tained in  the  gospels  and  epistles  and  other  extracts 
which  were  in  use  in  the  devotional  books  of  the 
priesthood.  And  so  it  happened  in  the  history  of 
Israel  ;  Israel  was  a  disobedient  nation,  and  there 
were  ages  in  which  there  was  no  fear  of  God,  and 
no  earnest  desire  for  God,  except  among  very  few. 
When  we  come  to  the  days  of  Ezra  and  of  Nehemiah 
we  see  that  a  great  effort  was  made  to  collect  all  the 
books  which  up  to  that  period  were  in  existence,  and 
to  form  them  into  one  collection.  Thus  we  find  the 
testimony  of  the  books  of  the  Maccabees  to  this 
collection  as  containing  the  five  books  of  Moses  and 
the  historical  books  to  the  end  of  the  books  of  Kings 
and  parts  of  the  Psalms  and  Proverbs,  and  afterwards 
the  rest  of  the  books  which,  after  the  return  of  Israel 
from  the  captivity  to  their  own  land,  were  gathered 
together,  as  we  also  read  in  the  book  of  the  Maccabees. 
This  remains  certain — that,  according  to  the  com- 
mandment of  God,  all  the  books  that  we  possess  were 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES    93 

gradually  added  and  afterwards  collected,  and,  300 
years  before  our  era,  existed  among  the  Jews  as  the 
only  authoritative  sacred  collection  of  books,  and  it 
is  a  very  remarkable  thing  that  the  Jews  had  never 
any  doubt  about  these  books.  The  Jews  possessed 
literature  of  every  kind.  You  know  the  books  of  the 
wars  and  other  books  are  mentioned  in  the  course  of 
our  Scriptures — historical  and  poetical  records  of 
battles  and  of  events  that  took  place.  You  know 
also  that  Solomon  wrote  thousands  of  proverbs  and 
also  books  on  natural  science,  as  we  would  call  it,  and 
songs  ;  and  in  the  book  of  Ecclesiastes  there  occurs 
the  expression  that  there  is  no  end  of  making  books. 
But  out  of  a  very  large  or  comparatively  large  litera- 
ture they  selected  these  books  in  regard  to  which 
the  apostle  Paul  uses  the  expression  in  the  epistle  to 
Timothy  "  Holy  books,"  that  is  to  say,  books  which 
belonged  to  God  and  were  separated  unto  Him.  And 
as  for  the  Apocrypha,  the  Apocrypha  never  pretends 
to  be  on  a  level  with  the  other  Scripture.  On  the 
contrary  it  speaks  of  all  the  other  Scriptures  with 
the  greatest  reverence,  as  a  great  treasure  which  God 
had  given  to  Israel,  and  it  speaks  of  itself  with  great 
moderation.  And,  besides,  the  Apocryphal  books 
contain  many  stories  which  are  evidently  legends, 
the  character  of  which  is  entirely  different  from  those 
miraculous  records  that  we  have  in  holy  Scripture. 
The  Apocrypha  is  not  of  the  .slightest  interest  as 
a  link  between  the  Old  Testament  and  the  New 
Testament,  either  historically  or  theologically,  for 
where  the  Old  Testament  ends,  there,  and  nowhere 
else,  does  the  New  Testament  begin.  The  Old 
Testament  ends  in  the  book  of  Malachi — "  I  will  send 
a  forerunner  before  my  face."      And  the  New  Testa- 


94     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

mcnt  history  virtually  begins,  "There  was  a  man  sent 
from  God,  whose  name  was  John."  Neither  was  there 
any  development  in  doctrine  or  in  prophecy.  These 
books  are  interesting  indeed,  but  they  are  not  at  all 
an  organic  part  of  the  Scripture,  nay,  they  contain 
things  which  are  contrary  to  the  Scripture.  They 
are  entirely  on  a  human  or  lower  level.  And  there- 
fore the  Jews  never  for  a  single  w^;//^;// acknowledged 
them  as  belonging  to  the  canon. 

One  thing  is  interesting  to  notice  in  the  Apocry- 
phal books.  They  mourn  that  there  has  been  no 
prophet  in  Israel  for  a  long  time.  One  wonderful 
thing  is  this — not  merely  that  God  protected  his 
faithful  people  against  the  temptations  to  lose 
their  nationality  and  to  accommodate  themselves 
to  the  Greeks,  and  that  he  protected  them  in  the 
hour  of  danger,  but  that  during  all  this  period  when 
Israel  was  full  of  valour  and  courage,  when  the  heroic 
spirit  was  strong  in  Israel,  there  is  not  a  single  in- 
stance of  a  false  Messiah,  because,  according  to  the 
prophecy  of  Daniel,  during  these  400  years,  Messiah 
was  not  to  appear, — and  no  sooner  was  the  prophecy 
at  an  end  as  to  the  time,  than  the  Jews  were  all  in 
expectation  of  the  Messiah,  and  the  Messiah  appeared 
in  Jesus. 

But  now  I  must  say  a  few  words  about  the  state 
of  the  Jews  in  the  days  of  our  Saviour.  They  had 
the  Scriptures.  The  testimony  of  Josephus  is  well 
known  to  all.  I  shall  not  read  it  to  you,  because 
you  can  easily  refer  to  it.  He  says  that  the  Jews 
possessed  twenty- two  books  of  Scripture,  the  five 
books  of  Moses,  historical  books,  four  books  of 
hymns  to  God,  and  proverbs  teaching  about  the 
conduct  of  life  and  the  prophetic  books,  and  he  says 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   JVITNESSES    95 

that  none  has  ever  dared  to  add  to  them,  or  to  take 
away  anything  from  them,  and  that  the  Apocryphal 
books  although  interesting  were  never  added  to 
them,  and  that  they  looked  upon  the  Scriptures  as 
divine.  After  the  Babylonish  captivity  the  whole 
energy  of  Israel  went  into  the  Scriptures — the  law 
which  God  had  given  them  by  Moses  to  preserve,  to 
keep,  to  defend.  But  alas,  this  veneration  for  the 
Scriptures  became  a  false  veneration.  Here,  indeed, 
we  may  speak  of  bibliolatry,  of  the  worship  of  the 
book  apart  from  the  living  God.  They  imagined 
that  the  whole  five  books  of  Moses  had  come  down 
from  heaven  to  Moses, — some  said  on  one  day,  some 
said  at  different  periods. 

Now  they  confused  the  written  Word  of  God,  who  t^\^ 
was  with  them  from  all  eternity,  and  they  spoke  with 
the  utmost  blasphemy  of  God  so  delighting  in  the 
five  books  of  Moses  as  to  read  them  every  day.  They 
identified  that  which  was  to  be  a  channel  through 
which  God  speaks  to  them  with  the  living  God. 
And  then  there  came  necessarily  the  misunderstanding 
of  the  law.  The  Bible,  when  it  becomes  a  dead  book 
apart  from  the  living  God,  is  converted  into  a  mere 
spell  ?  It  is  frittered  away  by  petty  ingenuities,  as 
by  the  scribes  in  the  time  of  Christ.  It  is  now  the 
reign  of  casuists.  The  spiritual  meaning  of  the  law 
evaporates,  the  whole  system  of  self-righteousness  is 
wrought  out. 

The  prophets  had  a  twofold  object.  First,  they 
showed  the  nation  that  the  law  is  spiritual,  and  that 
outward  observance  did  not  satisfy  God,  and  that 
therefore  the  object  of  the  law  was  that  people  should 
repent  and  should  long  after  a  Saviour,  and  then  the 
prophets  pointed  out  to  them  the  Saviour  ;  but  when 


96     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

people  are  self-righteous  they  do  not  want  God's 
righteousness,  and  when  they  are  whole  they  need 
not  a  physician,  and  when  they  keep  the  law,  and, 
like  the  old  Jews  and  many  other  people,  imagine 
they  can  keep  even  more  than  the  law,  so  that  they 
have  works  of  supererogation,  the  voice  of  prophecy 
with  its  beautiful  consolation  and  announcement  of 
the  atonement  has  no  charms.  And  therefore  there 
was  a  strange  thing  when  our  blessed  Jesus  came. 
The  Jews  believed  Scripture  to  be  God's  Word  ; 
Jesus  believed  the  Scripture  to  be  the  Word  of  God  ; 
but  between  those  two  there  was  enmity.  The  Jews 
rejected  Jesus.  Jesus  testified  against  the  Jews. 
The  testimony  of  Jesus  against  the  Jews  was  this, 
"  You  have  not  the  Word  of  God  in  you,  and  there- 
fore you  are  not  able  to  believe  who  I  am  ;  I  am 
sent  unto  you  from  God  the  Father.  If  the  Scrip- 
tures lived  within  you,  you  would  recognise  my 
countenance,  and  you  would  hear  my  voice."  But 
what  a  strange  tragedy  happened  here — a  warning 
to  professing  Christians  who  may  reverence  the  Bible 
and  fight  about  the  Bible,  and  yet  to  whom  the 
Bible  instead  of  being  a  thing  to  help  them  to  God, 
becomes  an  obstacle  that  keeps  them  from  God. 
Just  as  they  misrepresented  the  Sabbath,  in  regard  to 
which  their  tradition  made  void  the  commandments 
of  God. 

But  even  the  traditions,  which  were  not  committed 
to  paper  for  eight  centuries,  were  intended  only  to 
reverence  the  Bible,  and  the  reason  why,  from  the 
time  of  the  great  synagogue,  it  was  forbidden  to 
write  any  other  tradition,  was  lest  the  commentary  and 
the  tradition  should  be  confused  with  the  written 
Word   of  God,  the  oracles   that  were  committed   to 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES    97 

them.  So  even  in  their  sin  and  in  their  tradition 
which  was  contrary  to  the  mind  of  God,  God  kept 
them  faithful  and  loyal  as  conservators  of  the  Word. 
A  poor  nation  indeed  to  guard  the  treasure  that  He 
had  entrusted  to  their  care  ! 

But  there  were  Israelites  who  did  hear  the  voice 
of  God  in  the  Scriptures.  First  of  all  there  was 
John  the  Baptist,  who  reverberated  Isaiah  and 
Malachi  and  the  ist  Psalm,  and  all  the  declarations 
of  Moses  and  the  prophets.  There  was  the  Blessed 
Virgin  Mary,  who  had  imbibed  the  songs  of  David 
and  the  predictions  of  the  fathers.  There  was  the 
priest  Zacharias  who  was  waiting  for  the  horn  of 
salvation  to  rise  in  the  house  of  God's  servant  David. 
There  were  aged  Simeon  and  Anna,  and  what  were 
they  feeding  on  ?  The  Word  of  God  was  in  them. 
And  what  was  that  Word  of  God  ?  "  Comfort  ye, 
comfort  ye  my  people,"  saith  your  God,  "  and  speak 
to  the  heart  of  Jerusalem,  and  say  to  the  cities  of 
Judah,  '  behold  your  God.' "  They  were  waiting 
for  the  consolation  of  Israel. 

And  when  the  blessed  Jesus  came,  those  to  whom 
the  Scripture  was  a  living  Word,  although  they  may 
have  been  comparatively  ignorant,  understood  His 
voice.  It  was  the  same  voice  again.  "  Blessed  are 
the  poor  in  spirit,  blessed  are  they  that  mourn, 
blessed  are  the  meek."  Why  was  it  that  those  first 
disciples,  when  they  first  saw  Jesus,  said  immediately, 
"  We  have  found  the  Messiah  of  whom  Moses  and 
the  prophets  did  write  "  ?  Very  few  prophecies  had 
been  fulfilled  all  that  time.  Perhaps  they  did  not 
know  of  any  that  had  as  yet  been  fulfilled.  The 
Word  was  in  them  through  the  Scripture,  and  the 
Word  which  was   before   them    appealed   unto   their 

H 


9S     THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES 

minds.  Jesus  Himself  did  not  go  to  their  schools. 
They  were  astonished  at  His  exposition  of  Scripture 
because  He  had  not  been  taught  in  their  letters, 
their  comments,  and  their  traditions,  just  as  people 
nowadays  think  that  unless  people  are  great  in 
philology  and  in  criticism  and  in  history,  they 
cannot  understand  the  Bible.  But  Jesus  was  the 
only  one  who  ever  understood  the  whole  of  the 
Old  Testament.  People  that  are  ignorant  are  ex- 
cluded from  these  learned  investigations,  but  Jesus 
gave  understanding  to  the  simple.  To  Him  belonged 
the  key  of  David,  and  He  opened  unto  them  the 
Scriptures.  But  poor  Israel  ?  Do  not  think  that 
the  Pharisees  were  all  hypocrites.  They  were  all  in 
danger  of  becoming  hypocrites,  and  some  of  them 
were  hypocrites,  but  many  of  them  were  godly, 
religious,  earnest  men,  and  they  truly  reverenced  the 
Scriptures,  and  had  a  zeal  for  God,  but  no  great 
knowledge,  and  went  about  establishing  their  own 
righteousness.  When  Jesus  told  them  in  the  parable 
that  the  kingdom  would  be  taken  away  from  them 
and  given  to  others,  they  said,  "  God  forbid,"  and  it 
came  out  of  their  deep  soul.  "  God  forbid."  And 
they  fulfilled  the  prophecies  by  rejecting  Jesus.  So 
it  had  been  predicted,  as  in  the  1 1 8th  Psalm  :  "  The 
stone  which  the  builders  rejected";  5  3rd  chapter  of 
Isaiah  :  "  He  was  despised  and  rejected  of  men  "  ; 
iith  chapter  of  Zechariah,  "Thirty  pieces  of  silver 
they  weighed  for  my  hire."  All  that  was  fulfilled  in 
Jesus.  As  the  apostle  Paul  says  in  the  book  of 
Acts,  the  Jews,  thinking  that  in  doing  their  own 
will  and  purpose  they  were  doing  according  to 
God's  will,  were  only  fulfilling  the  prophecies. 

And  now  perhaps  some  one  will  Say,  "  But  what 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND   WITNESSES    99 

becomes  of  the  Old  Testament  scriptures  ?  What 
becomes  of  that  whole  preparation  which  for  thousands 
of  years  God  has  given  to  His  nation  ?  "  The 
Scripture  was  fulfilled  in  Jesus,  and  let  me  say  that 
all  that  was  predicted  of  the  Jews  in  the  future  was 
also  fulfilled  in  Jesus,  for  the  promises  were  all  made 
unto  Him,  and  the  rights  that  the  Jews  have  in  the  land 
of  Canaan  arise  from  the  covenant  which  God  made 
with  Abraham  ;  but  Christ  is  the  actual  instalment 
of  the  possession.  And  the  Old  Testament  scrip- 
tures were,  by  the  apostles,  planted  not  merely  among 
the  believing  Jews  where  they  already  were  in  exist- 
ence, but  among  all  the  Gentiles  who  embraced  the 
faith  which  is  in  Christ  Jesus.  But  Israel  as  a 
nation  is  preserved.  If  all  Jews  had  accepted  Jesus 
as  the  Messiah  their  testimony  would  have  been 
regarded  as  partial  ;  but  because  the  Scriptures 
which  contain  the  picture  of  Jesus  remain  in  the  hands 
of  the  Jews  who  have  rejected  Jesus,  none  can  gainsay 
their  witness  ;  and  if  all  the  Jews  had  been  destroyed, 
the  witnesses  for  Jesus  would  have  been  absent. 
So  God  has  ordered  it  in  His  infinite  wisdom. 

But  look  for  a  moment  at  Israel  according  to  the 
flesh.  You  know  the  grief  and  sorrow  which  the 
apostle  Paul  felt  on  account  of  Israel.  Jerusalem 
was  dark,  and  all  the  different  parties  were  intriguing 
and  scheming  and  thinking  that  they  would  be  able 
by  statesmanship,  and  by  conciliation,  to  steer 
calmly  and  quietly.  Services  went  on  as  usual  in 
the  temple,  but  the  word  of  judgment  had  already 
gone  forth,  and  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  and  of 
the  temple  had  already  been  predicted  by  the  Lord  ; 
and  to  a  spiritually-minded  man  like  the  apostle 
Paul,  although  the  judgment  had  not  yet  taken  place 


loo    THE  JEWS — AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

outwardly,  the  judgment  had  ah'eady  taken  place  in 
reality.  They  hardened  themselves  against  Stephen ; 
they  hardened  themselves  against  the  declaration  of 
the  apostles.  They  continued  in  their  unbelief.  The 
judgment  was  surely  coming.  The  guilt  was  upon 
them — greater  guilt  than  any  they  had  previously 
incurred.  And  not  merely  was  that  guilt  upon  them, 
that  guilt  which  alone  can  account  for  their  eighteen 
hundred  years'  dispersion, — but  their  spiritual  condi- 
tion was  ripening  fast  into  that  state  in  which  it  has 
remained  ever  since.  And  not  only  so,  but  the  poli- 
tical complications  were  also  maturing,  for  although 
Israel  committed  this  great  sin  against  God  and 
against  Jesus  Christ,  they  did  not  fall  away  from 
God.  They  still  had  a  zeal  for  God.  They  still 
preferred  to  die  rather  than  to  worship  idols.  They 
were  still  waiting  with  all  sincerity,  and  praying  with 
all  fervour.  It  was  not  like  a  nation  that  had  become 
frivolous  and  idolatrous.  When  the  nations  of 
Europe  fall  away,  most  likely  they  may  fall  away 
into  bottomless  infidelity,  but  Israel  never  fell  into 
this,  great  as  their  guilt  was.  Therefore  did  the 
apostle  Paul  weep  for  Israel,  God's  people,  to  whom 
pertained  the  adoption.  He  made  them  His 
children,  and  as  His  people  He  brought  them  out  of 
Egypt  and  instructed  them,  as  a  father  dealeth  with 
his  child.  And  to  them  belonged  the  glory,  not  the 
glory  of  weapons  or  the  glory  of  science,  but  the 
glory  that  Jehovah  had  chosen  them,  and  that  He 
would  be  in  the  midst  of  them.  And  to  them  belonged 
the  covenants  made  with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob, 
and  afterwards.  And  to  them  belonged  the  law, 
the  ten  commandments  written  by  God  Himself 
upon  the  tables  of  stone.     And  to  them  belonged  the 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES   loi 

beautiful  worship,  the  tabernacle  with  its  Holy  and 
Holy  of  Holies  ;  and  to  them  belonged  the  fathers. 
Oh  think  only  for  a  moment  of  the  fathers.  Think 
of  Abraham  who  was  called  the  Friend  of  God,  who 
received  the  promise  in  faith,  nothing  doubting,  who 
was  ready  to  give  up  Isaac,  knowing  that  he  would 
receive  him  back  again  from  the  dead,  and  of  Jacob 
who  wrestled  with  God  and  was  called  a  prince,  and 
of  Moses,  by  Whom  Israel  went  out  of  Egypt,  and  to 
whom  there  were  given  the  ordinances  of  the  law, 
and  who  was  a  mediator  between  God  and  the  Jews. 
And  think  of  all  the  warriors  and  judges,  strong  men 
and  fervent,  who  did  not  yield  to  the  masses,  but 
were  loyal  to  the  Most  High,  and  were  contented 
with  three  hundred  who  chose  to  obey  God,  rather 
than  with  vast  numbers.  The  stars  in  the  heavens 
were  fighting  in  their  favour — the  sword  of  Jehovah 
and  of  Gideon  —  they  kept  the  people  in  discipline 
by  the  Word  of  the  Most  High. 

And  think  of  all  those  sweet  singers  and  psalmists 
that  poured  out  their  souls  in  songs  and  melodies, 
and  thanksgivings  and  praises  ;  or  of  those  prophets, 
pillars  of  light  who  were  in  communion  with  the 
omniscient  mind,  to  whom  a  thousand  years  are  but 
as  one  day.  They  heard  the  distant  thunder  of 
God's  judgments  and  they  were  afraid.  They  saw 
the  beautiful  countenance  of  Immanuel  and  they 
poured  forth  words  of  consolation.  And  think  of 
the  martyrs  that  were  not  afraid  of  the  lion  or  of  the 
edge  of  the  sword,  or  of  the  violence  of  the  fiery 
furnace,  of  devoted  children  and  loving  mothers,  and 
fathers  of  whom  concerning  the  flesh  Christ  came, 
who  is  God  over  all,  blessed  for  ever !  And  this  is 
the  nation  whom   God   had    to  chasten   in    His   sore 


I02    7^BE  JEIVS—AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES 

displeasure.  Jerusalem  was  destroyed.  The  temple, 
which  was  the  very  breath  of  their  nostrils,  was  laid 
bare  in  the  dust,  and  Israel  itself  became  cursed  among 
all  the  nations. 

Hei-e  I  must  conclude  with  but  one  remark.  See 
then  this  nation.  How  many  have  wept  over  Israel  ; 
for,  whose  sorrow  can  be  compared,  as  it  says  in  the 
book  of  Lamentations,  with  the  sorrow  of  Jerusalem  ? 
Your  poet  has  said  "  The  wild  dove  hath  a  nest,  the 
fox  its  cave,  mankind  its  country  :  Israel  but  the 
grave."  Oh  no,  and  a  thousand  times  no.  Israel 
has  the  Scripture,  and  this  Scripture  it  is  which  has 
kept  Israel  .alive,  up  to  this  day.  Different  from 
all  other  nations  Israel  has  the  Scripture,  and  when- 
ever the  Holy  Ghost  breathes  upon  them,  they  shall 
behold  Jesus  to  whom  Moses  and  the  prophets  have 
testified.  For  the  future  is  still  before  them,  and 
that  future  which  is  spoken  of  by  the  mouth  of  all 
the  holy  prophets,  even  from  the  beginning. 

I  have  often  thought  of  that  triumphal  arch  of 
Titus  which  was  erected  after  the  destruction  of 
Jerusalem.  There  it  still  stands  in  Rome,  and  on 
that  arch  you  "can  see  represented  the  captive  Jews 
and  the  seven-branched  candlestick  of  the  temple 
and  the  table  of  shewbread,  and  in  front  the  great 
emperor  and  conqueror  Titus,  There  is  another 
triumphal  arch  which  the  apostle  Paul  has  also 
erected  right  among  the  Romans — the  epistle  to  the 
Romans,  from  the  9th  chapter  to  the  i  ith, — and  on 
this  arch  it  is  written,  "  all  Israel  shall  be  saved." 
And  in  all  this  the  Scripture,  partly  fulfilled  unto  us 
already,  will  show  forth  its  truth  and  its  steadfastness 
unto  the  ages  to  come,  for  as  the  prophet  said  that 
there  will  be  yet  in  the  streets  of  Jerusalem  children 


THE  JEWS— AS  CUSTODIANS  AND  WITNESSES  103 


playing  and  making  merry,  so  all  the  chapters  of  the 
Old  Testament  will  shine  forth  with  renewed  vitality 
and  beauty  when  the  Lord  shall  visit  His  children 
and  shall  fulfil  His  word,  and  when  all  ends  of  the 
earth  shall  see  together  the  salvation  of  our  God. 
Blessed  be  the  Lord  God  of  Israel  who  alone  doth 
great  wonders,  and  blessed  be  His  glorious  name,  and 
let  all  the  earth  be  filled  with  His  glory.      Amen. 


VI 


ISRAEL    SINCE   THE   DISPERSION— AN    EVIDENCE    OF 
THE   TRUTH    OF    PROPHECY 

Israel  since  the  dispersion — A  witness  for  the  truth  of  prophecy — A 
witness  in  a  negative  way — Preserved  in  a  wonderful  manner, 
physically  and  spiritually — No  human  wisdom  could  have  fore- 
seen this — Prophets  interested  in  all  nations — The  preparation  by 
conquests  of  Alexander — The  Hellenic  Jews — Scattering  of  Israel 
after  Christ — Kept  together  by  the  Scriptures — Israel  a  witness 
for  God  during  all  these  centuries  as  in  the  Sabbath,  in  the 
Festivals,  the  Passover,  the  Day  of  Atonement — Observance  of  the 
law  of  Moses — Their  peculiar  position,  a  nation  among  nations 
• — Nothing  similar — Hegel's  view  of  Israel — The  insoluble  problem 
— Their  formal  view  of  the  law — Their  Messianic  expectations  given 
up — Their  abstract  ideas  of  God — Worldlinessand  infidelity — Their 
stale  runs  parallel  with  prophecy — Their  restoration  certain  by 
prophecy — Prophecy  a  stereotyped  miracle  —  The  Jews  do  not 
know  the  reasons  of  the  judgments — The  veil  will  be  removed — 
The  coming  of  the  Lord. 

My  subj'ect  this  morning  is :  Israel  since  the  dis- 
persion a  witness  for  the  truth  of  the  history  and 
prophecy  of  Holy  Scripture. 

With  the  captivity  in  Babylon  begins  a  period  of 
the  history  of  the  kingdom  of  God  which  still  con- 
tinues, and  which  shall  only  end  at  the  second 
coming  of  our  Lord.  Why  is  the  evangelist  Luke 
so  anxious  to  impress  upon  us  that  the  birth  of  Jesus 
took    place    under    the    reign    of    Caesar    Augustus, 


ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION  105 

emperor  of  Rome  ?  Why  is  Pontius  Pilate  mentioned 
in  the  creed  ?  In  order  that  it  may  be  impressed  upon 
us  that  the  sceptre  had  indeed  departed  from  Judah, 
and  that  it  was  under  the  fourth  world -monarchy 
that  Jesus  the  new-born  King  of  the  Jews  appeared. 
But  the  times  of  the  Gentiles  appeared  more  clearly 
after  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  and  the  dispersion 
of  Israel  among  all  nations.  This  is  the  expression 
that  our  blessed  Saviour  Himself  used,  that  during  the 
times  of  the  Gentiles  Jerusalem  was  to  be  trodden 
under  foot.  And  during  this  period,  we  behold  Israel 
under  the  displeasure  of  God,  spiritually  blind, 
scattered  among  all  nations  of  the  earth,  and  yet  still 
in  allegiance  to  God,  and  God  still  regarding  them 
and  watching  over  them  with  favour  ;  whereas,  on 
the  other  hand,  we  see  the  Church  consisting  both  of 
Jews  and  Gentiles,  knowing  the  name  of  the  Triune, 
and  going  forth  in  the  name  of  Jesus  among  all  the 
nations  of  the  world,  yet  themselves  a  little  flock. 
And  as  Israel  was  opposed  to  and  separated  from 
all  the  nations,  the  Church  is  a  witness  against  the 
world  —  a  witnessing  body,  and  a  suffering  body, 
until  it  at  last  shall  please  God  to  give  it  the 
kingdom. 

Israel  is  a  witness  for  the  truth  in  a  negative  way. 
The  Church  of  Christ  is  a  witness  for  the  truth  in  a 
positive  way.  Only  omniscience  could  have  foreseen 
and  foretold  the  wonderful  and  complicated  methods 
which  divine  providence  was  to  take  in  carrying  out 
the  counsel  of  the  Most  High.  That  the  Messiah, 
after  many  centuries  of  preparation,  should  come  to 
Israel  to  be  rejected,  and  that  their  rejection  of  the 
Messiah  should  not  end  their  history,  but  only  retard 
it  for  a  number  of  centuries,  while  it  gave  opportunity 


io6  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION— 

and  time  of  working,  to  another  portion  of  the  divine 
counsel,  if  it  be  possible  still  more  sublime  and  more 
mysterious, — none  but  prophets  sent  by  God  Him- 
self could  ever  have  foretold. 

Very  clear,  indeed,  is  the  prediction,  as  for 
instance  in  the  53rd  chapter  of  Isaiah,  that  the 
time  was  coming  when  Israel  would  have  their 
eyes  open  to  see  that  the  man,  whom  they  rejected 
and  whom  they  thought  to  be  an  enemy  of  God  and 
afflicted  by  God,  was  an  innocent  and  spotless  Lamb, 
and  that  His  death  was  an  atonement  and  expiation 
for  their  sins.  Equally  clear  is  the  testimony  of 
Zechariah  that  the  final  conversion,  repentance,  and 
glorification  of  Israel  would  be  connected,  not  with 
the  acceptance  of  the  Messiah  at  the  first  advent,  but 
with  the  acceptance  of  a  rejected  Messiah,  when  they 
shall  look  upon  Him  whom  they  had  pierced.  And 
how  mysterious  and  inexplicable  was  the  prediction  of 
Daniel,  that  the  founder  of  the  fifth  monarchy  which 
was  to  last  for  ever  was  the  Son  of  Man,  who  would 
come,  not  out  of  Bethlehem  as  Micah  had  predicted, 
but  from  the  throne  above,  and  with  the  clouds  of 
heaven.  How  remarkable  is  it,  and  quite  different 
from  any  imagination  of  man,  that  God,  when  He 
sent  Jesus  the  first  time,  fulfilled  most  clearly  the 
predictions  which  had  been  given  by  the  prophets, 
and  yet  in  such  a  way  that  the  fulfilment  by  no  means 
compelled  faith  but  remained  a  test  and  trial  to  Israel 
whether,  so  to  speak,  the  kingdom  of  God  was  con- 
genial to  them  ;  and  therefore,  although  they  fully 
believed  in  the  whole  of  Scripture,  they  did  not  feel 
themselves  shut  up  to  the  reception  of  Jesus. 
"  Verily  thou  art  a  God  that  hidest  thyself"  In  all 
revelations  of  God  there  is  still  an  element  of  dark- 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY  107 

ness,  in  order  that  faith  may  be  tested.  And  so 
Jesus  Himself  predicted  to  Jerusalem,  summing  up 
their  whole  past  history,  that  they  who  had  killed 
the  prophets,  and  stoned  them  that  were  sent  to 
them,  were  now  at  last  to  receive  the  recompense  of 
their  evil  deeds,  that  their  house  should  be  left  to 
them  desolate  because  they  had  not  understood  the 
time  of  their  visitation.  But  yet  not  for  ever  did  He 
part  with  them.  He  held  out  the  bright  and  glorious 
hope  that  they  would  see  Him  again,  and  not  merely 
with  the  eyes  of  the  body,  but  also  with  the  eyes  of 
faith,  welcoming  Him  as  the  Blessed  One  in  the  name 
of  the  Lord. 

See,  then,  the  Old  Testament  predictions,  and  the 
New  Testament  predictions  tested  most  clearly,  in  the 
light  of  fact,  by  the  history  of  the  last  eighteen  cen- 
turies, that  Israel  rejected  Jesus, — that  God  gave  up 
Israel  to  banishment  and  punishment,  yet  loving 
them  and  being  faithful  to  the  covenant  which  he 
had  made, — that  this  nation  is  preserved  in  a  most 
wonderful  way  both  physically  and  spiritually  for 
the  fulfilment  of  those  predictions  which  are  inwoven, 
in  the  Old  Testament,  with  the  predictions  of  the 
first  advent.  The  apostle  Paul,  long  before  Jeru- 
salem was  destroyed,  like  all  spiritual  men,  saw  that 
the  end  had  already  set  in,  and  therefore  he  uses  the 
expression  with  regard  to  the  Jews  that  the  wrath 
had  come  upon  them  to  the  uttermost, — for  in  reality 
when  Jesus  died  upon  the  cross  and  when  the  veil 
of  the  temple  was  rent  in  twain  there  was  already 
spiritually  decided  what  was  to  be  the  history  of 
Israel.  The  guilt  of  rejecting  Christ,  the  guilt  of 
rejecting  the  testimony  of  the  apostles  remained 
upon    the    nation.      The    spiritual    self-righteousness 


io8  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION — 

and  blindness  only  increased,  and  still  as  they  were 
loyal  to  God,  and  abhorred  all  idolatry,  and 
wished  to  obey  the  commandments  of  God,  the 
conflict  with  Rome  could  not  in  any  way  be 
modified,  and  so  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem 
was  only  the  outward  and  historical  manifestation 
of  the  inward  and  spiritual  facts  which  had  already 
taken  place. 

But  what  a  wonderful  thing  it  is  that  Israel,  God's 
people,  should  be  scattered  among  all  the  nations  of 
the  earth.  Let  me  speak  plainly  on  this  subject.  What 
a  strange  thing  it  is,  that  after  God  for  centuries  and 
centuries  had  (to  speak  foolishly)  done  His  utmost  to 
separate  Israel,  in  one  corner  of  the  world,  from  all 
the  nations  of  the  earth,  for  that  was  the  whole 
system  of  God  with  Israel,  He  should  then  take  this 
nation  and  scatter  them  among  all  the  peoples  of 
the  world  !  It  is  quite  true  that  for  400  years 
He  allowed  them  to  be  in  Egypt,  and  there,  when 
they  were  in  Egypt  being  brought  into  contact 
with  the  most  civilised  nation  of  antiquity,  they  in 
many  respects  matured  most  rapidly  in  the  things 
pertaining  to  this  life.  But  during  those  four  cen- 
turies they  in  no  wise  amalgamated  with  Egypt,  for 
they  being  shepherds  were  an  abomination  to  the 
Egyptians  ;  and  the  Egyptians,  who  in  every  respect 
were  exactly  the  opposite  of  what  God  had  taught 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  were  also  an  abomination 
unto  Israel  ;  so  there  they  were  in  Egypt  and  yet 
separated  from  Egypt.  Forty  years  He  insulated 
them  in  the  wilderness  to  keep  them  all  to  Himself, 
and  as  it  were  to  show  them  that  they  were  a  nation 
entirely  separated  unto  God.  When  He  brought 
them    into    their  own    land    He    gave    them    every 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY   109 

possible  instruction  that  they  were  not  to  adopt 
the  customs  of  the  nations  that  they  still  found 
there,  and  that  they  were  to  be  very  resolute  in 
exterminating  those  nations  ;  and  He  gave  them  a 
law  which  in  every  respect  separated  them  from  the 
rest  of  the  world, — for  the  strict  prohibition  of  idolatry 
in  every  form  and  shape  was  like  a  wall  of  fire  round 
Israel.  All  their  regulations  about  their  food  and  their 
vestments  and  their  daily  life  showed  them,  and 
impressed  upon  them  day  by  day,  that  they  were  a 
nation  set  apart  unto  the  Lord.  And  the  very 
country  into  which  He  brought  them  was  altogether 
sufficient  for  itself  It  was  separated  from  all  the 
rest  of  the  world  by  the  mountain  ranges,  by  the 
Mediterranean  Sea,  by  the  large  deserts  on  the  south 
and  south-east.  It  possessed  everything  that  they 
required  for  their  sustenance,  for  it  was  an  exceedingly 
fertile  land,  so  that  there  was  no  inducement  for 
them  to  go  out  in  the  way  of  commerce, — and  com- 
merce God  discouraged  in  every  possible  way  among 
the  Jews.  They  were  to  take  no  interest  upon 
money,  which  at  once  paralysed  the  idea  of  com- 
mercial speculation  ;  nor  was  it  according  to  the 
idea  of  God  that  people  were  to  amass  large  capitals, 
so  that  neither  by  commerce  were  they  to  have 
intercourse  with  other  nations,  nor  was  there  to  be  in 
them  any  desire  of  aggrandisement  or  of  warfare. 
When  afterwards  God  gave  them  David  their  king, 
and  Jerusalem  their  centre,  and  the  temple  where 
was  His  habitation,  it  was  said  to  Israel,  "  Oh  happy 
people,  be  content:  here  I  have  planted  you.  You 
are  a  nation  of  twelve  tribes,  descendants  of  twelve 
brothers.  There  never  was  a  nation  so  compact 
together  as  you  are.      Love  one  another  and  walk 


ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION- 


before  me,  and  Jerusalem  shall  be  your  centre,  and 
David  the  man  after  my  heart,  and  the  sons  of 
David,  shall  be  your  kings  and  your  leaders." 

But  I  have  not  said  everything  yet.  When  pro- 
phecy looks  forward  to  the  days  of  the  future,  even 
then  it  regards  Israel  as  being  settled  in  their  own 
country  not  to  leave  it,  and  as  having  Jerusalem  as 
their  centre  and  Mount  Zion  as  their  centre  ;  and 
the  influence  that  they  are  to  exert  upon  the  rest  of 
the  world  is  not  by  aggressiveness  but  by  attractive- 
ness. As  long  as  the  world  stands  Zion  and  Jeru- 
salem are  to  remain  Zion  and  Jerusalem,  and  are  the 
centre.  The  nations  are  to  go  up  there.  The  Jews 
are  not  to  go  from  Zion  and  Jerusalem  to  the  nations. 
God's  great  idea  for  all  times  is  not  that  Israel  should 
be  scattered,  but  that  Israel  should  be  concentrated 
in  their  own  land,  and  that  Jerusalem  should  be '  a 
centre  of  all  religious  and  national  life  throughout 
the  whole  earth.  And  then  He  takes  them — destroys 
Jerusalem  and  the  temple,  and  scatters  them  among 
all  the  nations  of  the  earth. 

Now  is  there  not  here  something  wonderful  ?  No 
human  wisdom  could  have  foreseen  such  a  paradox. 
It  is  so  paradoxical  that  it  is  astonishing  that  people 
are  not  more  struck  and  perplexed  by  this  problem, 
but  it  is  simply  because  they  do  not  believe  the  Bible 
literally  ;  and  in  no  other  way  can  it  be  believed. 

But  there,  is  another  aspect  of  this  which  makes 
it  still  more  complicated.  God  had  not  said  to  the 
Jews,  "  I  have  chosen  you,  and  you  only,  and  I  have 
given  you  this  country,  and  I  have  given  you  the 
temple.  Now  walk  before  me."  But  He  said  to 
them,  "  I  have  chosen  you  only  as  my  first-born,  I 
want  to  bless  the  nations  of  the  earth.     You   must 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY  in 

not  think  that  I  have  chosen  you  for  your  sake  alone. 
Yqu  must  be  interested  in  all  the  idolaters  of  the 
world.  You  must  pray  that  My  light  may  visit  the 
distant  islands.  You  must  have  a  world-wide  heart. 
You  must  sing  : 

All  people  that  on  earth  do  dwell, 
Sing-  to  the  Lord  with  cheerful  voice. 

You  must  look  forward  to  this  as  the  great  glory 
— My  great  glory  and  your  great  glory  too — that  all 
ends  of  the  earth  shall  have  the  same  privileges,  and 
shall  have  the  same  joy  which  I  have  given  to  you." 

Therefore  God  never  allowed  the  Jews  to  think 
for  a  moment  that  He  was  only  the  God  of  the  Jews. 
The  prophets  are  interested  in  all  the  nations  by 
whom  Israel  was  surrounded, — and  now  comes  the 
preparation  for  the  dispersion.  The  first  preparation 
I  spoke  about  in  my  first  lecture- — the  adaptation  of 
the  Greek  language  through  the  empire  of  Alexander 
the  Great — how  it  was  brought  to  the  Jews,  and  how 
the  Jews  w^ere  brought  into  the  Graeco-Macedonian 
empire  and  adopted  the  Greek  language  ;  and  owing 
to  this  there  arose  a  new  kind  of  Jewish  population, 
the  Hellenistic  population,  who,  though  they  were 
loyal  to  the  God  of  their  fathers,  yet  were  acquainted 
with  the  language  and  the  culture  of  Greece,  and 
thus  became  accustomed  to  think  of  the  spread  of 
the  knowledge  of  Jehovah  among  all  nations. 

And,  besides,  there  was  another  preparation. 
There  could  only  be  one  temple  in  Palestine, 
which  is  a  very  important  fact,  and  contains  a 
very  important  doctrine  ;  but  although  there  was 
only  one  temple  in  Palestine  there  could  be  as  many 
synagogues    as    it    pleased    the    Jews    to    erect,   for 


ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISTERSION- 


wherever  a  few  Israelites  chose  to  gather  together 
to  worship  God,  to  read  the  Scriptures,  and  to 
converse  about  the  Scriptures,  there  was  nothing 
to  prevent  them  from  forming  a  synagogue.  And 
therefore  those  synagogues  were  all  over  the  country, 
and  as  you  read  in  the  gospels  and  in  the  book  of 
Acts,  they  met  for  worship,  and  chiefly  for  the  read- 
ing of  the  Scriptures,  and  for  conversation  on  what 
God  had  taught  them.  And  along  with  this  was 
what  I  tried  to  explain  before — the  concentration  of 
the  whole  Jewish  religious  and  intellectual  power  upon 
the  Scripture,  and  above  all,  upon  the  law  of  Moses. 
Now,  when  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  came,  and 
when  thousands  and  tens  of  thousands  lost  their 
lives,  and  thousands  were  led  into  captivity,  and 
calamity  came  upon  Israel  such  as  no  nation  ever 
witnessed,  still  this  nation,  notwithstanding  all  their 
calamity,  remained  loyal  to  God,  although  the  blood- 
guiltiness  was  still  upon  them  ;  and  nothing  ever 
induced  them  to  give  up  the  worship  of  the  one  true 
God,  or  to  adapt  themselves  in  any  way  to  the 
idolatry  and  to  the  customs  of  the  nations  ;  and  there 
they  were,  as  if  nothing  had  happened,  wherever 
God  in  His  providence  had  brought  them,  studying 
the  Scriptures,  rabbis  having  their  disciples  round 
them,  whom  they  instructed  in  the  wisdom  and  in 
the  ways  of  God,  meeting  for  worship  every  Sabbath 
day,  and  holding  their  synagogue  service,  observing 
the  law  of  Moses  with  the  greatest  loyalty  and  dis- 
interestedness. They  did  not  apostatise  from  God, 
they  did  not  fall  into  infidelity.  They  were  not 
swallowed  up  by  despair,  and  they  did  not  say, 
"  Why  should  we  serve  God  any  longer  after  He 
has    thus   dealt   with    us  ? "       They    felt    it  was    on 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY  113 

account  of  their  sins  that  God  had  thus  dealt  with 
them,  but  with  a  heroism  and  faith  which  does 
remain  a  marvel  throughout  all  history  they  con- 
tinued in  the  old  ways.  They  had  the  Word  of 
God,  and  that  it  was  that  preserved  them.  Although 
they  did  not  understand  it  spiritually,  although  there 
was  a  veil  upon  their  hearts,  still  God's  Word  was 
with  them.  The  ten  commandments  were  heard 
every  Sabbath  day.  The  life-giving  Word  of  God 
sounded  in  their  ears.  The  beautiful  narratives  of 
their  forefathers  were  familiar  to  their  memory  and 
dear  to  their  heart,  for  the  Word  of  God,  even  pos- 
sessed outwardly  without  the  spiritual  teaching  unto 
salvation,  is  a  great  power, — and  there  is  no  power 
in  the  world  equal  to  it. 

And  so  Israel,  during  all  this  time,  has  been  a 
witness  for  God.  All  their  past  history  is  embodied 
in  them  now.  Monuments  made  of  marble  and  of 
stone  are  nothing  compared  with  the  nation  of  millions 
for  eighteen  centuries  under  the  greatest  persecutions, 
and  in  the  most  diverse  circumstances,  commemorat- 
ing continually  the  great  facts,  that  had  been  wrought 
out  for  them  in  the  days  of  old.  There  is  the  Sabbath 
Day.  Israel  up  to  this  hour,  every  seventh  day,  keeps 
the  day  which  God  had  commanded  their  fathers  to 
keep.  What  a  marvellous  idea  is  that  observance  of 
the  Sabbath,  Do  not  think  now  of  the  relation  of 
the  Sabbath  to  the  Lord's  Day.  Do  not  think  now 
of  the  Pharisaical  Sabbath,  which  is  often  called  the 
Jewish  Sabbath  by  a  great  confusion  of  ideas.  It 
was  a  caricature  of  the  Old  Testament  Sabbath.  But 
think  of  what  you  read  in  God's  Word — that  God, 
who  created  all  things  in  six  days,  on  the  seventh 
day,   on   which    He   rested,   having    gone   out    from 

I 


114  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION— 

Himself  into  the  outward,  returns  into  Himself, 
and  takes  the  whole  world  with  Him  that  it  may- 
rest  in  His  own  love.  Therefore  He  hallowed  the 
seventh  day.  To  Israel  time  was  not  like  a  wide 
ocean  in  which  there  are  no  divisions,  and  which  is 
measureless  and  restless,  as  Milton  speal<s  of  Sab- 
bathless Satan.  But  to  Israel  time  is  articulated. 
God  lives  with  His  people.  He  lives  with  them, 
while  they  work  for  six  days.  He  lives  and  re- 
joices with  them  when,  on  the  seventh  day,  they 
rest  before  Him.  In  these  days,  when  people  are 
beginning  to  doubt  the  first  article  of  the  creed, 
what  a  marvellous  testimony  is  Israel  with  its 
Sabbath  day,  because  God  created  the  heavens 
and  the  earth. 

Look  at  all  the  festivals  that  they  keep.  Look 
at  the  passover  kept  in  every  Jewish  family.  There 
you  will  see  what  happened  in  the  upper  chamber 
where  Jesus  was  with  His  twelve  apostles.  They 
commemorate  the  wonderful  dealing  of  God  with 
their  fathers  when  He  sent  ten  plagues  upon  Egypt, 
and  when,  by  the  blood  of  the  Lamb,  He  brought 
them  out  of  the  house  of  bondage.  They  read 
those  chapters  of  Exodus.  They  sing  hymns  of 
praise.  They  break  the  unleavened  bread  and  all 
the  members  of  the  family  partake  of  it.  They 
bless  four  cups  with  benedictions  ;  and  one  of  these 
cups  was  the  cup  that  Jesus  set  apart  for  the  Lord's 
Supper.  What  a  marvellous  thing  is  this  passover  ; 
and  the  little  children  among  the  Jews  are  very 
excited  when  the  passover  draws  near.  The  un- 
leavened bread  is  brought  in,  but  along  with  that 
there  is  also  to  be  a  purification,  and  every  vestige 
of  leaven  wherever  it  is   found,  even  with    childish 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY  115 


scrupulosity,  has  to  be  removed  from  their  vestments 
and  from  their  rooms.  You  remember  what  the 
apostle  says,  "  Keep  the  festival  not  with  the  old 
leaven  of  malice  and  of  wickedness  "  ?  There  is  a 
commentary  on  that  every  year,  in  the  houses  of 
the  Jews.  Or  shall  I  remind  you  of  the  day 
of  atonement  when  the  Jews  fast,  and  humble  them- 
selves before  God,  confessing  their  sins  and  believing 
that  on  that  day  God  absolves  them  from  their  sins, 
so  that  they  are  able  to  go  on  for  another  year,  in 
worship-communion  with  Him  ?  Or  the  festival  of 
the  weeks  and  of  the  New  Year  } — what  wonderful 
mementoes  all  these  are  of  the  facts  which  took 
place.  What  else  could  have  made  them  observe 
them,  year  after  year,  and  century  after  century  ? 
And  as  they  observe  the  festivals,  so  they  observe 
the  law  of  Moses  ;  and  it  is  owing  to  that  law  of 
Moses  that  they  are  still  in  existence,  for  Israel  is 
not  like  many  of  the  other  nations.  Other  nations 
when  they  have  reached  as  it  were  their  highest 
point,  and  when  they  have  been  living  in  great 
civilisation  and  luxury,  become  effete,  on  account 
of  their  immorality  and  on  account  of  their  wicked- 
ness ;  but  Israel  has  never  become  effete.  The 
sanctities  of  family  life  endure  in  Israel  up  to  this 
day,  owing  to  the  law  of  Moses — owing  to  the  ten 
commandments  —  owing  to  the  ordinances  which 
God  gave  to  His  people  and  to  God  Himself  watch- 
ing over  them.  They  are  physically,  as  they  ever 
were,  distinguished  by  their  longevity,  distinguished 
by  their  tenacity  and  vigour  of  purpose,  distinguished 
by  their  mental  freshness,  so  that  they  are  able 
to  enter  into  any  branch  of  study  or  into  any 
occupation  of  life.      It  is  the  Word  of  God  that  has 


ii6  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION— 

done  this.  There  is  nothing  so  degrading  as  to  be 
persecuted,  as  to  be  mocked,  as  to  be  banished 
into  one  corner  of  a  town,  as  to  be  excluded  from 
social  life.  If  a  nation  ever  might  have  become 
altogether  degraded  and  might  have  dwindled  down 
into  non-existence,  it  would  have  been  the  Jews  ; 
but  God  in  the  prophets  said  that  they  were  never 
to  cease  as  a  nation  before  Him,  and  He  says. 
Even  when  I  shall  punish  you  and  banish  you 
I  will  not  abhor  you.  I  will  never  forget  the 
covenant  I  have  made  with  your  fathers.  I  will 
still  regard  you  with  favour  and  preserve  you  for  the 
time  when  there  shall  be  given  unto  you  repentance. 
There  is  no  analogous  fact  in  history.  Nations 
have  migrated  and,  from  stress  of  circumstances, 
sought  other  countries  in  which  to  settle.  There 
has  been  colonisation  on  large  plans.  There  have 
been  other  movements  which  have  brought  nations 
into  different  countries  ;  but  then  they  have  become 
amalgamated  with  the  nations  among  whom  they 
have  settled,  as  the  French  refugees  in  England. 
There  have  been  also  the  nomadic  tribes  of  Egyptians 
who  are  wandering  about  over  the  world.  But  a 
nation  like  Israel,  dispersed  over  the  whole  face  of 
the  earth,  keeping  their  law  and  separated  as  a 
community,  yet  taking  an  interest,  whenever  they 
are  allowed,  in  every  development  of  history  and  of 
mental  culture,  has  never  existed.  Some  of  them  have 
attempted  to  forget  that  they  are  Jews,  but  have  never 
been  allowed  in  God's  providence  to  do  so.  As  a 
Spanish  rabbi  said  once  some  centuries  ago,  "  There 
is  a  blessing  on  us  and  there  is  a  curse  on  us.  You 
are  trying  now  to  exterminate  us  and  you  will  not 
succeed,  because  there  is  a  blessing  on  us.      And  the 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY   117 

time  is  coming  when  you  will  try  to  favour  us  and 
yon  will  not  succeed,  because  there  is  a  curse  on  us." 
Mysterious  nation !  read  the  Old  Testament ;  read 
the  New  Testament ;  and  you  will  see  that  what  no 
historian  can  explain  is  explained  by  the  omniscient 
mind  of  God.  Therefore  the  great  German  meta- 
physician Hegel  said  that  the  history  of  the  Jews 
was  an  enigma  to  him  ;  he  understood  the  philo- 
sophy of  the  history  of  other  nations,  but  here  was 
a  problem  that  he  could  not  solve.  No  man  can 
solve  it  because  they  are  the  nation  which  God  has 
set  apart — the  paradox  of  the  world's  history,  that 
paradox  which  finds  its  solution  only  in  Jesus  Christ, 
for  as  the  prophet  Hosea  said,  Many  days — a  long 
period — the  children  of  Israel  shall  be  without  king, 
without  priest,  without  ephod,  but  at  the  same  time 
without  idolatry  either  public  or  private.  Formerly 
they  fell  into  idolatry.  Since  their  dispersion  they 
have  not  fallen  into  idolatry.  But  I  must  point  out 
to  you  the  spiritual  deterioration  of  Israel.  I  have 
shown  you  the  good  points  of  Israel  ;  I  want  to  show 
you  also  the  spiritual  deterioration  of  Israel — and 
how  this  had  been  likewise  predicted. 

The  first  is  this — and  here  Israel  is  a  witness  not 
merely  for  the  Old  Testament  but  for  the  New 
Testament,  for  there  is  no  separation  between  those 
two, — the  Jews  cling  to  the  Old  Testament  and 
refuse  the  interpretation  of  the  New.  The  Gentiles 
fancy  that  they  can  understand  the  New  Testament 
without  the  Old  Testament.  Oh,  it  is  perfectly 
impossible.  The  apostle  Paul  expounds  the  Jews 
to  us,  out  of  his  own  experience.  "  They  have  a  zeal 
for  God  but  without  knowledge.  They  go  about 
establishing  a  righteousness  of  their  own,  not  submit- 


iiS  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION— 

ting  themselves  unto  the  righteousness  of  God." 
Their  attention  has  become  concentrated  on  the  law. 
This  is  an  important  point.  Both  Genesis  and  the 
prophets  are  comparatively  neglected  by  the  Jews 
for  the  sake  of  the  law  of  Moses,  and  yet  the  law  of 
Moses  was  only  a  parenthesis,  and  it  is  comparatively 
of  less  importance  than  cither  the  book  of  Genesis 
or  the  prophets.  Therefore  having  an  outward  view 
of  the  law,  and  thinking  that  they  can  fulfil  the  law, 
the  very  purpose  of  the  law  has  not  been  fulfilled  in 
them.  That  is,  they  have  no  true  consciousness  of 
sin  and  no  longing  for  a  Saviour.  This  is  the 
difficulty  of  all  ministers  with  the  Jews,  as  it  is  the 
difficulty  also  with  the  unconverted  Gentiles.  There 
is  no  difference.  If  people  do  not  know  that  they 
are  under  the  curse  of  the  law  and  that  they  are 
guilty  in  the  sight  of  God,  they  will  have  no  longing 
for  a  Saviour. 

The  second  deterioration  is  as  regards  the  Messiah. 
The  Jews  had  many  false  Messiahs.  One  of  their 
greatest  men,  a  renowned  Rabbi,  and  a  man  in  whom 
there  is  much  to  admire  and  even  to  reverence, 
was  a  follower  of  the  false  Messiah.  But  after 
the  destruction  of  Jerusalem,  when  they  had  no 
certain  genealogies,  they  thought  that  the  only 
way  of  finding  out  when  the  Messiah  was  coming 
was  to  examine  the  dates  and  times  of  the  pro- 
phecies ;  and  when  they  examined  these,  and  the 
people  were  often  disappointed,  then  the  Jewish 
rabbis  gave  a  commandment  that  there  was  to 
be  no  more  investigation  of  the  Messianic  times, 
because  the  people  were  only  disappointed.  In  fact, 
the  less  they  thought  about  the  Messiah  the  better. 
And  then  there  came  a  time  when  all  those  passages, 


AN  EVIDENCE  OE  THE  TRUTH  OE  PROPHECY  119 

like  the  22nd  Psalm  and  the  53rd  chapter  of  Isaiah, 
and  many  others,  which  the  ancient  Jewish  inter- 
preters had  referred  to  the  Messiah  were  explained 
away  by  the  Jewish  rabbis,  because  all  Christians 
applied  them  to  Jesus,  and  they  were  referred  to  the 
Jewish  nation  or  to  some  righteous  man, — exactly  as 
the  rationalists  have  been  trying  to  explain  away  the 
direct  and  indirect  Mosaic  testimony  of  the  Old 
Testament.  And  then  the  idea  of  the  Messiah  was 
lowered  by  the  Jews, — and  whereas  formerly  in  the  Old 
Testament  it  was  not  an  exclusively  national  idea, 
but  the  Messiah  was  to  be  a  light  to  lighten  the 
Gentiles  as  well  as  the  glory  of  the  people  of  Israel, 
now  the  Messiah  became  to  them,  so  to  speak,  a 
provincial  idea — not  a  spiritual  national  idea. 

Last  of  all — and  this  is  the  most  important — why 
does  the  prophet  Hosea  say,  "In  the  latter  days 
Israel  shall  seek  the  Lord "  ?  If  I  say  that  of 
heathen  nations — "  They  shall  seek  the  Lord  " — it  is 
intelligible  ;  but  to  say  it  of  the  Jews,  who  are  con- 
stantly worshipping  God,  that  they  shall  seek  Jehovah 
seems  indeed  very  strange.  And  this  is  the  thing 
that  most  offends  the  Jews  when  we  tell  them  this. 
Instead  of  knowing  the  living  God  as  He  revealed 
Himself  to  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob, — the  fulness 
of  light  and  love, — the  Jew^s  have  now  come  to  think, 
that  their  great  religion  is  monotheism.  I  tried  to 
explain  in  one  of  my  lectures  that  monotheism  is  not 
the  religion  of  the  Old  Testament,  but  that  Jehovahism 
is  the  religion  of  the  Old  Testament.  Now  they  lay 
all  the  stress  upon  the  unity,  of  which  the  Bible  never 
speaks.  The  Bible  says  that  there  is  only  one  God,  but 
the  Bible  says  that  in  this  God  there  is  God,  and  God  as 
He  reveals  Himself,  and  the  Spirit  of  God.    But  instead 


ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION- 


of  that,  the  Jews  have  this  abstract  idea  of  a  unity  ; 
and  in  that  abstract  idea  there  is  no  warming  for  the 
heart  nor  is  there  any  peace  for  the  conscience,  and 
therefore  is  it  said  that  in  the  latter  days  they  shall 
seek  Jehovah  ;  and  this  accounts  for  the  most  extra- 
ordinary fact  that  the  father  of  modern  pantheism, 
Spinoza,  was  a  Jew.  This  bare  abstract  idea  of  unity 
is  not  able  to  satisfy  the  intellect,  and  leads  more  or 
less  to  the  departure  even  from  monotheism. 

And  then  can  we  be  astonished,  that  along  with 
this  there  is  among  the  Jews  a  great  deal  of  worldli- 
ness  and  indifference  and  unbelief,  and  of  every  kind  of 
sin  even  down  to  infidelity  ?  That  is  the  state  of  the 
nation  up  to  this  day.  While  there  is  a  remnant  of 
those  Israelites  who,  by  the  grace  of  God,  have  come 
to  the  faith  in  Jesus  Christ  according  to  the  pro- 
phetic word  that  there  must  always  be  even  during 
the  time  of  their  dispersion,  a  remnant  from  Israel, 
according  to  the  election  of  grace  ;  and  while  the 
godly  Israelites  who  are  going  on  in  Talmudic  dark- 
ness are  still  clinging  to  the  Word  of  God,  there  are 
great  numbers  of  worldly,  indifferent,  unbelieving, 
rationalistic,  and  infidel  Jews.  What  will  become 
of  them  ?  But  the  actual  condition  of  the  nation 
during  these  eighteen  centuries,  physically,  spiritually, 
morally,  and  the  predictions  of  prophecy  run  perfectly 
parallel.  And  now  to  one  who  believes  Scripture,  it 
makes  no  difference  whether  a  thing  has  been  actually 
accomplished  in  history  or  is  merely  written  in  the 
Bible.  One  is  as  sure  to  us  as  the  other.  We  have 
not  the  slightest  doubt  that  Jerusalem  was  destroyed, 
not  only  because  the  Roman  historians  tell  us,  but 
because  Christ  said  that  it  would  be  destroyed. 
Neither  have  we  the  slightest  doubt  that  Israel  shall 


AlSr  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY  121 

be  restored,  converted,  and  reinstated  in  their  own 
land,  because  God  has  said  so.  The  Word  of  God 
standeth  sure  for  ever. 

Now  prophecy  is  a  stereotyped  miracle.  A  man 
may  say,  "  If  I  had  been  on  the  Red  Sea  and  seen 
the  Jews  pass  through  it,  or  if  I  had  been  present 
when  the  Lord  raised  Lazarus  from  the  dead,  I  should 
have  believed, — but  these  great  facts  took  place  in  a 
day,  in  a  moment,  and  then  they  disappeared."  But 
prophecy  is  miracle  stereotyped,  continued  miracle. 
It  has  been  going  on  now  from  century  to  century. 
People  speak  about  "  realising  "  the  Bible.  What  do 
you  mean  by  "  realising  "  the  Bible,  and  the  things 
that  are  spoken  in  the  Bible  ?  When  people  speak 
about  realising  things — an  expression  which  is 
exceedingly  dangerous  and  misleading — what  they 
mean  is  that  they  want  to  get  their  imagination 
into  such  a  heated  condition,  and  their  feelings  so 
roused,  that  they  may  have  something  better  than 
faith.  So  when  they  see  the  Ammergau  play 
they  think  that  that  is  realising  the  crucifixion  of 
Jesus.  It  may  be  realising  the  crucifixion,  but 
it  is  not  realising  Christ  crucified.  Read  the  53  rd 
chapter  of  Isaiah  and  you  will  realise  the  crucifixion 
—that  is  to  say,  believe  it.  But  if  you  wish  to  see 
the  Word  of  God,  study  the  Jews  as  they  live  in  the 
present  day  and  there  you  will  see  how  true  it  all  is, 
I  remember  when  I  was  a  child,  one  evening,  as  I 
felt  the  air  of  the  room  oppressive,  I  went  out  ;  and 
there  I  saw  the  beautiful  stars  shining  brightly,  and 
the  thought  flashed  across  my  mind,  "  These  are  the 
stars  that  God  showed  to  our  father  Abraham,  and 
we  are  here  :  the  stars  are  here.  How  much  more 
is  God  still  in  the  world."     And  so  all  the  history  of 


122  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION— 

the  Jews — their  father  Abraham,  their  rabbi  Moses, 
their  prophet  Elijah,  the  shield  of  David,  the  wisdom 
of  Solomon — all  these  are  national  possessions 
which  live  within  them.  And  all  the  history  of  the 
Gospels  and  of  the  Acts — and  the  very  condition  of 
the  Jews  themselves  at  the  time  of  Christ,  the  way 
they  talked,  the  way  they  argued,  the  way  they 
rejected  him,  and  the  way  that  some  of  them  believed 
in  him — behold  all  these  things  you  may  now  see 
with  your  eyes  and  hear  with  your  ears,  over  all  the 
countries  of  Europe  and  most  of  the  countries  of 
Asia.      God  has  given  them  to  be  a  witness. 

The  Jews  themselves  do  not  understand  their 
history,  for  they  do  not  understand  the  reason  of 
their  dispersion.  They  confess  their  sins  ;  they 
weep,  as  only  Jews  can  weep ;  they  fast  on  the 
anniversary  of  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem.  This 
very  year  in  which  I  am  speaking  to  you  there  have 
been  collected  poems  written  by  Jews  in  Gallicia  in 
the  peculiar  dialect  of  mixed  Hebrew  and  German, 
in  which  there  is  as  intense  a  national  feeling  and 
as  mournful  a  spirit  as  can  be  shown  by  any  nation, 
- — as  if  Jerusalem  had  only  been  destroyed  last  year  ; 
but  the  reason  they  do  not  know.  That  is  again 
according  to  the  Scriptures.  It  is  only  according  to 
prophecy.  In  no  other  way  can  you  account  for 
it.  Eighteen  hundred  years,  they  have  seen  that 
they  are  in  banishment.  They  ask  themselves  the 
1  reason  why,  and  they  are  not  able  to  answer  it. 
Israel  has  never  yet  confessed  the  blood-guiltiness 
that  is  upon  them,  because  they  crucified  Jesus. 
The  Athenians  after  putting  Socrates  to  death  very 
soon  regretted  the  judicial  murder  which  they  had 
committed  ;    but   Israel  has  never  acknowledged  or 


AN  EVIDENCE  OF  THE  TRUTH  OF  PROPHECY   123 

regretted  the  crucifixion  of  Christ  up  to  this  day. 
The  insipid  admissions  of  rationalistic  Jews  that 
those  were  the  days  of  barbarism  and  of  religious 
intolerance,  which  are  greatly  to  be  regretted,  is  no 
confession  of  the  unparalleled,  national,  blood-red  sin 
which  Israel  committed  against  the  Just  and  Holy 
One.  But  the  Old  Testament  tells  you  that  it  would 
be  so.  In  the  latter  days  they  would  say,  "We 
thought  him  as  one  smitten  of  God,  and  we  hid,  as 
it  were,  our  faces  from  him."  And  Zechariah  says, 
"  There  will  be  given  repentance  to  Israel,  and  they 
shall  mourn  over  him  as  over  a  son,  an  only  son."  ^ 
And  He  is  their  only  son.  We  have  got  nothing  else  :  ^^^C 
no  power,  no  wisdom,  no  honour.  The  only  thing  ^^ 
that  we  have  produced — and  not  we,  but  the  grace 
of  God  and  the  Holy  Ghost — is  Jesus.  He  is  their 
only  son  ;  but  for  many  centuries  they  have  not  known 
it.  But  then  shall  they  mourn  over  Him,  as  over  an 
only  son.  As  with  the  sons  of  Jacob,  after  they  had 
sold  Joseph  into  Egypt,  returned  to  their  father,  and 
their  conduct  afterwards  was  better  than  it  had  been 
before,  but  the  blood  of  Joseph  was  still  upon  their 
consciences  and  hearts,  and  afterwards  they  were 
driven  to  Egypt,  and  there  Joseph  revealed  himself 
to  them — "  I  am  Joseph  your  brother,  whom  ye  sold 
into  Egypt  " — thus  will  it  be  with  Israel.  That  they 
do  not  know  Jesus  up  to  this  time  has  always  been 
predicted  ;  and  this  is  what  the  apostle  Paul  says  : 
"  There  is  a  veil  on  their  hearts  "  so  that  they  do  not 
understand  the  whole  covenant.  And  it  is  what 
Jesus  says,  "  Ye  shall  see  me  no  more  till  ye  shall 
say,  Blessed  is  he  that  cometh  in  the  name  of  the 
Lord."  Israel  is  a  witness  for  the  truth  of  the  Old 
and  the  New  Testament  scriptures. 


124  ISRAEL  SINCE  THE  DISPERSION 

God  is  coming — God  Himself  in  the  person  of  His 
Son.  Great  judgments  will  be  against  the  anti- 
Christian  nations.  Great  power  and  majesty  shall 
be  made  manifest  upon  His  chosen  people  Israel. 
The  Church  of  Christ  has  her  position,  and  the 
Church  of  Christ  is  associated  with  the  blessed  Lord, 
and  with  the  blessed  Lord  takes  the  deepest  interest 
in  the  manifestation  of  His  kingdom  here  upon  earth. 
Oh  that  we  may  know  the  living  God.  Israel  com- 
memorating the  passover  every  year  says,  "  Next 
year  in  Jerusalem."  The  Church  of  Christ  com- 
memorating the  passover  on  the  Lord's  Day,  or 
whenever  it  is,  even  by  partaking  of  that  bread  and 
of  that  cup,  says,  "  Till  He  come "  :  both  together 
witnesses  for  the  Scripture.  The  Scripture  is  God's 
Word,  and  this  conviction  we  have  the  more  strongly, 
the  more  we  are  filled  with  faith  in  the  living  God, 
and  realise  that  there  is  a  history  going  on,  and 
know  that  He  who  was,  and  who  is,  is  also  He  that 
is  to  come. 

May  the  Lord  grant  unto  us  that  His  Word  may 
thus  be  living  to  us.     Amen. 


VII 

THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE  OLD 
TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT 

The  Church  of  Christ — Her  relation  to  the  books  of  the  New  Testament 
as  well  as  to  Moses  and  the  Prophets — Often  said,  Church  of 
Christ  existed  before  the  Scriptures — This  assertion  superficial 
and  false — The  preaching  of  Christ  and  His  apostles  always  con- 
nected with  the  Scriptures — In  all  epistles  directed  even  to  Gentile 
congregations,  every  doctrine  proved  from  Old  Testament,  as 
justification  by  faith — The  grandeur  of  the  New  Testament  ;  its 
simplicity  ;  its  compactness — The  infinite  depths  it  reveals — Yet 
its  inspiration  exceedingly  human  and  exceedingly  simple — In- 
dividuality of  writers  allowed  fullest  scope — This  manifest  from 
the  fact  that  nearly  all  the  books  are  letters— The  four  Gospels 
— The  Acts — The  Epistles;  their  various  characteristics  —  The 
Apocalypse — No  difference  in  teaching  between  gospels  and 
epistles — The  epistles  give  what  men  were  not  able  to  bear  before 
— Universal  agreement  of  the  writers — Antiquity  no  authority  as 
to  faith — Marked  deterioration  after  apostles — The  fathers — 
What  happened  to  the  Jews  happened  to  the  Church — Delusions 
of  Rome — Reformation  a  spiritual  movement — The  supreme 
authority  of  Scripture  acknowledged  as  a  theory  in  all  the  Churches, 
till  the  Council  of  Trent — Authority  of  Church  in  interpreting 
New  Testament  not  better  than  of  Jews  in  interpreting  Old 
Testament — Perspicacity  of  Scripture — Intended  for  all,  though 
it  needs  the  enlightenment  of  the  Spirit. 

I  HAVE  endeavoured  to  show  in  my  last  addresses 
how  the  Jews  were  the  custodians  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment Scriptures.  I  now  wish  to  direct  your  attention 
to  the  Church  of  Christ  and  her  relation  to  the  books 
of  the  New  Testament  as  well  as  to  those  of  Moses 
and  the  prophets. 


126        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

It  has  often  been  remarked  that  the  Church  of 
Christ  originated  without  the  Scriptures,  only  by  the 
preached  word  of  the  Gospel,  and  that  as  it  thus 
originated,  it  also  existed  before  the  Scriptures.  This 
assertion  is  very  superficial,  and  in  fact  it  is  not  true, 
because  the  preaching  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  and 
the  preaching  of  the  apostles  were  always  connected 
with  the  Scriptures  of  the  Old  Testament,  yea,  founded 
upon  them,  so  that  from  the  very  beginning  the 
Church  owed  its  origin  not  merely  to  the  preaching 
of  the  Word,  but  to  the  preaching  of  the  Word  as  being 
the  explanation  of  the  Word  which  was  written,  and 
which  God  had  given  to  the  fathers.  We  can  see 
this  not  merely  concerning  the  Church,  which  was 
founded  among  Israel — for  what  was  the  preaching 
of  the  apostle  Peter  on  the  day  of  Pentecost,  and  of 
the  apostle  Paul  in  the  synagogue  at  Antioch,  but 
the  explanation  of  that  which  was  written,  because 
that  which  was  written  was  not  now  superseded,  nor 
merely  supplemented,  but  it  was  fulfilled  ;  it  was 
illumined  and  transfigured,  and  it  was  to  remain  for 
ever  as  the  authoritative  announcement  of  the  Most 
High. 

And  when  the  apostles  went  to  the  idolaters,  how 
remarkable  is  it  that  unto  them  also  they  preached 
the  Scriptures,  so  that  we  find  that  in  all  the  epistles 
which  afterwards  they  directed  to  the  congregations 
which  had  been  formed  from  among  the  heathen,  they 
proved  every  doctrine  from  the  Old  Testament  Scrip- 
tures. Justification  by  faith  was  proved  from  the 
prophet  Habakkuk,  from  the  example  of  Abraham, 
and  from  the  experience  of  David.  And  the  apostle 
Paul  was  so  anxious,  that  in  that  world-wide  epistle 
to  the   Romans  there  should  be  given   light  to  the 


OLD  TESTAMENT — THE  NEW  TESTAMENT      ii-j 

Gentiles,  as  to  the  true  position  of  the  Old  Testament, 
that  he  shows  in  it  how  Jesus  Christ  was  the 
minister  of  the  circumcision  to  fulfil  the  promises 
which  were  given  to  the  fathers,  and  how  the  Gentiles 
were  brought  in,  in  accordance  with  the  prophetic 
word.  He  was  afraid  of  that  congregation  in  Rome, 
and  of  all  the  Gentile  congregations,  falling  into  what 
I  may  call  Gentilising  error,  just  as  he  was  afraid  of 
the  Galatians  falling  into  Judaising  error ;  and  all 
the  practical  exhortations  that  he  gave  to  the  Churches 
were  based  upon  the  Word  of  God — "as  it  is 
written."  So  he  writes  to  the  Corinthians  that  the 
experience  of  Israel  in  the  wilderness  was  to  be  a 
guide  and  a  warning  unto  them.  And  when  the 
apostles  were  near  the  end  of  their  earthly  course, 
and  saw  the  dangers  to  which  the  Church  of  Christ 
would  be  exposed,  they  with  all  emphasis  directed 
men  again  to  the  Scriptures,  which  were  to  be  a  light 
shining  to  them  in  darkness,  and  which  were  profitable 
to  them,  and  able  to  make  them  perfect,  furnishing 
them  to  every  good  work. 

The  glory  of  the  Old  Testament  is  great.  The 
glory  of  the  New  Testament  is  still  greater.  But  it 
is  not  by  depreciating  the  one  that  we  shall  be  able 
to  see  the  true  magnitude  and  excellence  of  the  other. 
The  Old  Testament  in  its  humility  compares  itself 
to  the  night,  although  it  is  illuminated  by  the  moon 
and  the  stars  ;  and  the  very  last  word  of  the  Old 
Testament  in  the  prophet  Malachi  is,  that  unto  them 
that  fear  God  the  sun  of  righteousness  shall  rise  with 
healing  in  its  wings.  Therefore  although  the  night 
is  solemn  and  beautiful,  the  day  with  the  sun  is  still 
more  glorious. 

Think  for  a  moment  of  what  we  have  in  the  New 


128        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

Testament  Scriptures.  Think  of  the  grandeur  of  the 
New  Testament.  Here  God  Himself  is  revealed 
Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  and  for  this  reason  it 
is  that  in  the  New  Testament  you  find  so  often  the 
expression  used,  "  Before  the  foundation  of  the 
world,"  because  the  New  Testament,  in  this  differing 
from  the  Old  Testament,  goes  back  to  the  eternal 
counsel  of  God,  and  shows  us  what  was  in  the  depth 
of  God's  mind  when,  in  Christ  Jesus  as  the  Lamb, 
He  chose  the  Church  in  order  to  show  forth  all  His 
glory  and  all  His  praise.  God  is  light,  God  is  love, 
God  Himself  is  made  manifest  to  us  in  the  New 
Testament. 

And  as  this  New  Testament  possesses  such  a 
wonderful  grandeur  and  majesty,  it  possesses  also  a 
marvellous  simplicity.  What  can  be  more  simple 
than  the  words  of  Jesus  and  the  exposition  of  the 
apostles  ?  The  very  word  "  Jesus  "  is  a  summing 
up  in  the  simplest  form  of  all  God's  announce- 
ments and  promises  in  the  Old  Testament.  That 
name  which  was  never  mentioned  as  the  name 
of  the  Messiah  in  the  Old  Testament,  sums  up 
everything  that  God  has  promised  to  His  people. 
Or  take  that  expression,  "  The  Lamb  in  the  midst 
of  the  throne."  Here  you  have  all  the  sacrifices  ; 
here  you  have  the  predictions  of  Isaiah ;  here  you 
have  the  still  clearer  and  more  condensed  explana- 
tion of  the  prophet  Zechariah  when  he  speaks  about 
the  priest  being  set  on  the  throne, — and  it  is  all 
summed  up  in  the  most  lucid  and  sweet  manner, 
"  The  Lamb  in  the  midst  of  the  throne."  Greater  is 
the  majesty  of  the  New  Testament,  and  still  greater 
is  its  simplicity. 

Think  again  how  compact  it  is.      After  all  it  is 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        \-ic) 

in  a  very  small  compass.  The  New  Testament  is 
not  a  large  book,  and  the  period  of  history  which 
it  has  to  sum  up  only  comprises  a  few  years.  In 
three  years  Jesus  finished  His  earthly  ministry, 
and  only  twenty  years  sum  up  the  history  of  the 
book  of  Acts.  How  easily  it  is  read  and  how  easily 
it  is  remembered. 

And  lastly,  I  would  say  about  the  New  Testament, 
although  in  it  God  Himself  is  revealed, — a  more 
glorious  revelation  of  God  than  the  Incarnation, 
even  eternity  will  not  bring.  A  more  stupendous 
sacrifice  of  divine  love  than  the  death  of  Jesus  on 
the  cross,  eternity  will  not  unfold.  A  more  wonderful 
mystery  than  the  indwelling  of  the  Spirit  of  God  in 
the  Church  of  Christ,  we  can  never  witness. 

Although  the  majesty  of  the  New  Testament  is 
exceedingly  great,  the  manner  of  its  inspiration  is 
exceedingly  human  and  exceedingly  homely ;  for 
not,  as  in  the  Old  Testament,  was  the  Spirit  of  God 
as  it  were  outside  the  prophets,  so  that  they  had  to 
search  diligently,  what  the  Spirit  that  was  in  them 
did  signify.  The  Spirit  now  abiding  within  the 
hearts  of  the  apostles,  their  testimony  came,  so  to 
speak,  in  the  most  personal  and  subjective  way. 
As  Christ  says,  "  The  Spirit  shall  testify  and  ye  also 
shall  testify."  Their  own  individuality  is  allowed 
the  freest  and  fullest  scope,  which  is  manifest 
from  this  simple  circumstance  that  nearly  all  the 
books  of  the  New  Testament  are  letters.  The 
gospel  of  Luke  is  a  letter.  The  gospel  of  John  is 
a  letter.  The  book  of  Acts  is  a  letter.  And  then 
comes  a  great  number  of  epistles,  and  even  in  the 
book  of  Revelation  we  see  the  form  of  a  letter. 

Heart  to  heart,  mouth  to  mouth,  man  to  man, — 
K 


I30        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

speaks  in  this  book.  Think  for  a  few  moments  of 
what  we  have  in  the  New  Testament.  The  Jews 
possessed  in  the  Old  Testament  all  that  they  required 
as  a  nation — the  history  and  origin  of  Israel — all 
God's  dealings  with  them,  all  God's  teaching  for 
them,  and  all  the  plans  of  God  for  their  future, — all 
are  contained  in  the  Old  Testament,  so  that  Israel 
as  a  nation  requires  no  more  ;  and  therefore  the  Old 
Testament  to  a  certain  extent  is  more  difficult  to 
understand  and  is  larger  in  its  outlines,  because  it 
has  not  yet  served  its  full  purpose,  for,  in  the  later 
ages,  the  Jews  will  have  occasion  to  go  to  the  Old 
Testament  as  they  have  never  gone  to  it  before,  in 
order  to  see  what  is  the  will  of  God  concerning 
them  in  those  latter  days,  when  God  begins  again  to 
deal  with  the  remnant  of  Jacob. 

In  the  New  Testament  we  have  the  four  gospels, 
the  history  of  Christ  on  earth, — His  sufferings,  death, 
and  resurrection. 

First  there  is  the  gospel  of  Matthew,  connecting 
the  New  with  the  Old  Testament,  showing  how  the 
promises  were  fulfilled  in  Jesus  ;  and  as  Matthew 
himself  had  been  a  publican,  what  was  more  natural 
than  that  he  should  treasure  up  all  those  sayings  and 
acts  of  Christ,  in  which  Christ  showed  that  His 
righteousness  was  different  from  that  of  the  scribes 
and  Pharisees,  and  that  his  idea  of  the  Messiah  was 
different  from  that  entertained  in  those  days  by 
the  Jews.  It  is  the  humility  of  Jesus  that  strikes 
us  in  the  gospel  of  Matthew. 

Then  comes  Mark,  evidently  written  under  the 
influence  of  the  apostle  Peter,  an  eye-witness,  and 
therefore  there  are  so  many  graphic  details  as  if  he 
were  a  painter  ;  an  car-witness,  and  therefore  we  have 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        131 

the  words,  "  Talitha  cumi  "  ;  "  cphthatha,"  "  eloi,  cloi, 
lama  sabacthani," — as  if  he  was  still  hearing  and 
seeing  the  things,  showing  to  us  the  energy  of  Christ, 
declaring  the  gospel  by  word  and  by  deed. 

Then  we  have  the  gospel  of  Luke  written  under 
the  influence  of  the  apostle  Paul, — Luke  the  historian 
showing  what  Christ  is,  not  merely  to  the  Jews  but 
to  the  whole  world,  not  merely  the  Son  of  David, 
but  the  Son  of  Man,  Saviour  of  sinners,  physician  of 
the  sick, — free  grace  abounding  to  the  poor  and  the 
needy.  This  connects  the  gospel  with  the  whole 
history  of  the  Church  in  the  future,  as  Matthew 
connected  it  with  Israel  in  the  past. 

Then  there  is  the  gospel  of  John  which  is  neither 
of  the  past  nor  the  present  nor  the  future,  but  of  all 
eternity,  and  shows  us  Christ  as  the  Son  of  God  in 
the  bosom  of  the  Father, — and  the  whole  life,  suffer- 
ings, death  and  resurrection  of  Christ  illumined  by  the 
light  of  eternity — both  the  counsel  of  God  and  also 
the  consummation  when  there  will  be  the  everlasting 
separation  between  Christ's  people  and  the  world. 

This  foundation  is  like  the  five  books  of  Moses, 
describing  the  fundamental  dealings  of  God  ;  the 
former  with  Israel, — the  latte^  with  both  Israel  and 
the  Gentiles. 

Then  comes  the  book  of  Acts — connecting  as  it 
were  the  gospels  with  the  rest  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment, like  the  head  with  the  rest  of  the  body,  and 
showing  how  the  gospel  began  in  Israel,  how  it 
afterwards  went  to  Samaria,  and  how  then  it  went 
to  the  Gentiles,  and  ending  not  merely  with  the  fact 
but  with  the  condition  of  things,  namely,  the  gospel 
among  the  Gentiles,  Paul  yet  testifying  to  the  Jews 
in  Rome. 


132        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

Then  come  the  wonderful  epistles.  What  was 
more  natural  than  that  the  apostles  should  write  to 
their  congregations,  when  they  were  separated  from 
them,  teaching  them,  warning  them,  explaining  to 
them  the  manifold  errors  and  heresies  which  were 
creeping  in.  We  have  the  apostle  Paul  with  his 
fourteen  epistles,  all,  as  it  were,  originating  in  the  most 
natural  way.  We  may  say  that  these  are  occasional 
epistles.  Thus  the  human  and  historical  elements 
appear  in  the  most  natural  manner.  Historically 
they  give  us  a  picture  of  the  Church  of  Christ  in  the 
beginning  ;  and  every  kind  of  heresy,  both  Jewish 
and  pagan,  both  theoretical  and  practical,  are  in 
these  epistles  shown  and  refuted,  so  that  the  Church 
of  Christ  requires  nothing  more,  either  for  exposition 
or  for  polemics. 

If  we  look  again  at  these  epistles  in  reference  to 
the  doctrine  : — ^The  epistle  to  the  Romans  shows  us 
how  Christ  is  righteousness  and  life ;  the  epistle 
to  the  Galatians  shows  us  the  same  thing, — how 
Christ  is  righteousness  and  life,  but  shows  further 
how  law  and  gospel,  flesh  and  spirit,  cannot  be 
combined.  Higher  still  we  rise  in  the  epistles 
to  the  Ephesians  and  to  the  Colossians,  where  the 
centre  is  Christ.  They  may  be  called  Christological 
epistles.  In  the  Ephesians  we  see  the  Church  in 
Christ  from  all  eternity  elect  in  Christ,  redeemed  in 
Christ,  adopted  in  Christ,  called  in  Christ,  and 
raised  to  be  with  Christ  in  heavenly  places,  whereas 
in  Colossians  we  stand  upon  earth,  and  the  apostle 
tells  us  of  the  glory  of  Christ  and  draws  from  it  this 
inference  :  If  Christ  is  this  glorious  being  in  whom 
dwelleth  the  fulness  of  the  Godhead  bodily,  and  who 
is  the  substance  of  all  types,  then  you  who  belong  to 


OLD  TESTA MENl'^THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        133 

Christ  must  never  think  of  righteousness  or  sanctifi- 
ca'tion  produced  by  any  earthly  thing, — "  Touch  not, 
taste  not,  handle  not "  ;  but  must  seek  the  things 
that  are  above, — the  righteousness,  the  merit,  the 
fulness,  the  power  of  Christ  who  is  at  the  right 
hand  of  God.  Or  if  we  look  again  at  Thessa- 
lonians,  there  we  have  prophetic  truth  ;  or  at  the 
epistles  to  Timothy  and  Titus,  there  we  have 
practical  questions  regarding  the  Church,  simplicity 
of  the  Gospel  against  all  artificial  antinomian  cor- 
ruption and  caricature  of  the  truth  as  it  is  in 
Jesus  ;  or  at  Corinthians, — there  we  have  the  sim- 
plicity which  is  in  Christ  Jesus,  the  love  which 
alone  edifieth,  while  wisdom  and  knowledge  puff 
up,  and  the  representation  that  Christ  is  everything 
in  the  Church,  and  that  in  Him  is  our  life  and  our 
strength. 

The  epistles  of  the  apostle  Paul  are,  as  it  were, 
confirmed  by  the  epistles  of  John  ;  they  are  con- 
firmed also  by  the  epistles  of  Peter.  Peter  looks  upon 
the  Church  of  Christ,  as  between  the  first  advent 
and  the  second  advent, — strangers  and  pilgrims  here 
below, — exhorting  them  to  hold  fast  to  the  hope. 
He  sees  Christ  coming  for  the  consolation  of  His 
people.  He  sees  Christ  coming  also  for  judgment 
upon  them  that  are  ungodly  and  that  reject  the  Gospel. 
The  relation  of  these  two  aspects  of  the  coming 
he  now  explains  ;  and  because  at  the  time  that  he 
wrote  the  2nd  epistle,  the  Church  had  become 
lukewarm,  and  many  false  teachers  had  crept  in, 
the  tone  of  that  epistle  is  different.  In  the  ist 
epistle  he  knew  that  the  Christians  were  holding 
fast  the  hope.  In  the  2nd  epistle  he  had  to  urge 
them  strongly  to   hold   fast   the   hope,  and  therefore 


134         THE.  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 


he  shows  them  the  importance  of  the  sure  word  of 
prophecy.  The  epistle  of  James  gives  us  a  picture 
of  the  earhest  condition  of  the  Jewish  Church.  The 
epistle  of  Jude  warns  us  against  the  latest  and  yet 
future  inroad  of  grievous  blasphemy  and  error  ;  and 
lastly  we  have  in  the  book  of  the  Apocalypse 
the  revelation  which  God  gave  to  Jesus  Christ, — a 
manifestation  of  Christ's  glory  itself,  a  description 
of  the  Church  of  Christ  in  this  dispensation,  of  the 
great  events  of  the  latter  days,  of  the  advent  of  our 
Saviour,  of  the  establishment  of  His  kingdom,  and  of 
the  victory  over  Satan,  and,  finally,  of  the  beginning 
of  that  period  which  shall  have  no  end. 

Everything  that  the  Church  can  require  is  con- 
tained in  this  wonderful  collection  of  books  which 
we  are  in  the  habit  of  calling  the  New  Testament. 

Let  me  briefly  point  out  to  you  a  very  import- 
ant element,  namely,  that  all  these  books  are  one 
book.  There  is  no  discordance  between  the  gospels 
and  the  epistles.  There  is  a  most  shallow  view, 
constantly  propounded  nowadays,  when  people  say 
that  they  would  rather  listen  to  what  Christ  says  in 
the  gospels  than  to  what  is  written  in  the  epistles  of 
the  apostles.  The  Holy  Ghost  alone  could  bring 
to  the  remembrance  of  the  apostles  the  things  that 
Christ  had  spoken, —  and  the  reason  why  Christ 
did  not  tell  the  apostles  all  that  is  in  the  epistles 
was  not  because  he  was  not  able  to  do  so,  but  be- 
cause they  were  not  able  to  bear  it  ;  but  besides 
Christ  told  them  everything  in  germ,  although,  in 
Jerusalem,  and  afterwards,  all  was  more  fully  revealed. 
Everything  that  the  apostles  taught  was  con- 
tained in  the  teaching  of  our  blessed  Saviour,  nor 
did    the    apostle    Peter    in    any    way    contradict    the 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        135 

apostle  Paul,  nor  was  there  any  difference  of  view  of 
the  truth,  only  different  aspects  of  the  truth  brought 
out,  in  accordance  with  the  different  graces  and  gifts 
bestowed  upon  the  apostles  ;  but  all  their  writings 
are  harmonious,  and  he  who  does  not  receive  the 
words  of  the  apostles  rejects  Jesus  Himself,  even  as 
he  who  rejects  Jesus  rejects  the  Father.  "He  that 
heareth  you  heareth  me,"  not  "  heareth  as  it  were 
me,"  but  Christ  Himself  speaks  in  the  apostolic 
word  ;  and  so  we  find  that  the  apostles  knew  when 
they  wrote  that  their  writings  had  a  distinct  authority. 
"  I  beseech  you  that  this  epistle  be  read  of  all 
saints,"  says  the  apostle.  "  These  things  are  written 
that  your  joy  may  be  full."  The  Apocalypse  itself, 
we  may  say,  is  the  very  word  of  the  Father  given 
to  Jesus  Christ,  and  the  apostle  Peter  speaks  of 
the  epistles  of  Paul  as  collected  already,  and 
as  on  an  equality  with  the  other  scriptures,  liable 
to  be  misunderstood  by  those  who  do  not  seek 
in  humility  and  earnestness  of  heart.  But  at 
first,  although  these  individual  churches  greatly 
valued  the  epistles  that  were  sent  to  them,  and 
although  the  greatest  part  of  the  New  Testament — 
namely,  the  four  Gospels  and  the  Acts,  all  the 
epistles  of  the  apostle  Paul  (with  the  exception  of 
the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews),  the  ist  epistle  of  Peter, 
and  the  ist  epistle  of  John,  and  the  book  of  the 
Apocalypse — was  acknowledged,  from  the  begin- 
ning, by  all  the  churches,  there  were  other  epistles 
which  were  known  and  acknowledged  in  the  congrega- 
tions to  which  they  were  originally  sent.  It  took 
some  time  before  the  other  churches  were  fully  con- 
vinced of  their  apostolic  authority,  and  added  them 
to  the  canon. 


136        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

Yet  this  question  has  been  most  satisfactorily 
cleared  up.  The  western  churches,  looking  upon 
the  apostle  Paul  as  their  apostle,  divided  all  the 
books  in  the  New  Testament  which  they  possessed 
into  what  they  called  gospel  and  epistle  ;  that  means 
the  four  gospels  and  the  Acts,  and  the  writings  of 
the  apostle  Paul  and  the  Apocalypse  and  the  ist 
epistle  of  John.  In  the  east  there  was  no  doubt 
as  to  the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews  being  apostolic, 
and  also  written  by  the  apostle  Paul.  The  2nd 
and  the  3rd  epistles  of  John  being  addressed  to 
individuals,  took  some  time,  as  was  natural,  before 
they  were  recognised  as  of  general  church  authority. 
Still,  nearly  all  the  books  in  the  New  Testament 
are  referred  to  in  the  year  150,  by  authorised 
and  well-known  teachers  of  the  Church  ;  and  during 
all  the  previous  period  the  reading  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment was  constantly  maintained  in  the  meetings  of 
the  Christians. 

And  now  I  come  to  a  point,  where  it  is  neces- 
sary to  speak  plainly — namely,  that  antiquity  has 
no  authority  to  us  as  regards  matters  of  faith, 
because  immediately  after  the  death  of  the  apostles 
there  was  a  most  marked  deterioration  in  all  the 
churches,  so  that  when  we  compare  the  writings 
which  were  produced  immediately  after  the  death 
of  the  apostles  with  the  writings  of  the  New 
Testament,  there  is  not  the  slightest  difficulty  in 
perceiving  that  we  are  breathing  a  very  differ- 
ent atmosphere.  There  is  no  longer  the  fulness 
of  apostolic  testimony  and  the  light  of  God,  but 
human  error  and  weakness,  and  I  might  say  even 
childishness,  mixed  up  with  the  leading  truths 
of    salvation  ;    so    that    those    who    are    called    the 


OLD   TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        137 

apostolic  fathers  are  of  no  authority  to  us  ; — and 
although  they  were  diligent  in  reading  the  Old 
Testament,  and  fully  believed  in  its  divine  authority, 
they  did  not  fully  understand  it,  for  the  simple 
reason  that  from  this  very  early  period  there  began 
that  deterioration  which  afterwards  developed  in 
the  papacy.  They  did  not  know  Christ  as  our 
only  righteousness,  but  looked  upon  Him  rather 
as  a  new  law -giver,  so  that  the  Old  Testament 
was  viewed  by  them  as  a  preparatory  law  and 
the  New  Testament  as  the  real  law.  Even  the 
sacriiices  they  did  not  understand  in  their  typical 
meaning.  The  great  importance  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment to  them  was  that  it  furnished  proof  of  the 
divinity  of  Jesus  because  it  foretold  His  coming, 
and  also  because — the  whole  ancient  Church  was 
clear  upon  this  point  —  it  foretold  the  return  of 
Jesus.  That  was  the  point  most  deeply  im- 
pressed upon  their  minds  and  upon  their  hearts,  and 
therefore  we  find  more  quotations  from  the  book 
of  the  Apocalypse  in  the  first  four  centuries  than 
from  any  other  book.  Most  melancholy  is  it  to 
note  how,  from  the  fourth  century  to  the  time  of 
the  Reformation,  the  glimpses  of  light,  of  truth, 
and  of  evangelical  liberty  are  exceedingly  rare.  It 
happened  to  the  Church  as  it  happened  to  the  Jews. 
The  Jews  had  the  Word  of  God,  but  they  made  it 
void  by  the  traditions  of  the  elders.  The  Jews  had 
revealed  in  the  Old  Testament  righteousness  by  faith, 
but  they  sought  a  righteousness  by  their  own  works. 
The  Jews  not  merely  thought  that  they  could 
keep  the  law,  but  they  thought  they  could  do  more 
than  keep  the  law,  and  therefore  invented  works  of 
supererogation.      Exactly  what  happened  to  the  Jews 


138        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

happened  to  the  Church,  it  having  again  tradition 
— it  having  righteousness  by  works — and  therefore, 
instead  of  the  clearness  and  sweetness  of  the  Gospel, 
the  spirit  of  bondage  again  to  fear. 

Not  only  so,  but  in  exact  opposition  to  the  Word 
of  God  :  Christ  was  obscured.  Instead  of  Christ 
bearing  the  love  of  God  to  the  chief  of  sinners, 
there  were  now  mediators  required  between  the 
sinner  and  that  awful  and  terrible  judge  Jesus  Christ. 
Christ  was  no  longer  seen  as  the  prophet,  because  the 
Scripture  was  made  of  none  effect,  and  the  authority 
of  the  Church  was  set  up  instead.  Christ  was  no 
longer  seen  as  the  priest,  for  if  Christ  is  the  priest 
he  is  the  only  priest,  with  the  exception  of  all  be- 
lievers who  are  a  priesthood  in  Him.  His  sacrifice 
as  complete — requires  no  renewal  or  supplementation. 
Christ  was  no  longer  seen  as  the  king.  He  alone 
has  authority,  being  the  head  of  the  body  from  whom 
all  life  flows  directly  into  the  members,  and  who 
shall  come  again  in  glory.  The  Church  of  Rome 
said,  "  Lo,  I  sit  as  a  queen  and  am  rich  and  powerful," 
and  it  sought  to  establish  a  church  kingdom,  which 
is  a  contradiction  in  terms.  Of  course,  blessed  be 
God,  there  were  many  who  believed  in  Jesus  during 
these  periods.  There  were  many  glorious  teachers 
in  the  Church.  There  were  many  who,  although 
they  taught  error,  were  also  firmly  based  upon 
the  foundation  which  is  Christ.  There  were  many 
who  protested  against  the  errors  of  Rome,  and  who 
had  to  suffer  martyrdom  on  account  of  their  faith- 
fulness. But  as  a  whole  it  was  the  period  of  dark- 
ness. Why  are  people  so  astonished  about  the 
history  of  the  Old  Testament  with  its  long  cen- 
turies of  darkness   and  of  apostasy,  when  so   many 


OLD   TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        139 

centuries    of  the    Church   of   Christ    form    an    exact 
parallel  ? 

But  now,  let  us  look  to  the  great  change.  What 
is  that  movement  of  the  Reformation  which,  I  am 
sorry  to  say,  even  among  those  who  keep  themselves 
separate  from  the  Church  of  Rome,  is  so  little  under- 
stood, and  so  very  languidly  acknowledged  ?  The 
Reformation  was  not  an  ecclesiastical  movement,  as  if 
the  chief  question  had  been  the  authority  of  the  Pope, 
The  Reformation  was  not  a  philosophical  movement, 
as  if  the  question  had  been  the  emancipation  of 
the  human  mind.  The  Reformation  was  not  a 
political  movement,  as  if  its  chief  importance  had 
been  the  introduction  of  liberty  into  the  kingdoms 
of  Europe,  tyrannised  over,  as  they  had  been, 
by  the  papacy.  The  Reformation  was  the  power 
of  the  Holy  Ghost  and  nothing  less.  That 
self-same  Spirit  who  had  been  in  the  Church,  who 
had  watched  over  the  Church  all  these  centuries 
notwithstanding  her  darkness  and  her  apostasy,  was 
now  working  mightily  in  the  hearts,  consciences, 
and  minds  of  many  men,  and  this  was  the  great 
question  that  was  engrossing  their  thoughts — "  How 
can  we  have  certainty  of  salvation  and  of  communion 
with  God  ?"  That  had  been  the  question  for  cen- 
turies in  the  Church,  and  no  clear  answer  had  been 
given  to  it.  Nothing  will  teach  a  man  but  the  Holy 
Ghost, — no  experience,  no  reading,  no  knowledge,  no 
tradition.  The  Holy  Ghost  alone  glorifies  Jesus. 
We  can  do  nothing.  When  the  Holy  Ghost  comes, 
it  is  then  the  time  for  us  to  yield  ourselves  to  Him. 
Augustine,  from  his  own  experience,  and  by  the  teach- 
ing of  the  Holy  Ghost,  knew  the  power  of  sin  and 
the   utter   impotence   of  nature   to   enable   a  man  to 


I40        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

save  himself.  He  also  knew  the  power  of  grace. 
Bernard  of  Clairvaux  entered  still  farther  into  the 
truth  as  it  is  in  Jesus.  At  first  sight  it  might  appear 
that  he  was  rather  departing  from  the  doctrine  of 
justification.  He  started  with  this  point  :  "We  can 
do  nothing  pleasing  to  God  unless  we  are  branches 
grafted  in  the  vine  " ;  that  was  the  fundamental  idea 
of  "  the  good  "  of  mediaeval  mysticism — that  there  is 
nothing  good  in  thought,  word,  or  work,  unless  it  be 
wrought  out  by  the  influence  of  Jesus  Christ  Himself 
But  then  he  entered  into  this  question  :  "  How  can  I 
be  a  branch  of  the  vine,  if  I  have  not  the  assurance 
of  the  forgiveness  of  sins  ?  The  feeling  of  dread 
and  fear  is  a  barrier  between  me  and  Jesus," 
And  therefore  much  more  clearly  than  any  of  the 
Church  teachers  did  Bernard  of  Clairvaux  say  this. 
These  are  his  words — "  It  is  by  God's  righteousness 
that  in  Christ  Jesus  he  forgives  our  sins."  And  when 
the  Reformers  through  reading  the  Scriptures,  follow- 
ing the  guidance  of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  their  hearts 
and  consciences,  saw  that  Jesus  was  the  full  salvation 
of  God  to  every  one  that  believeth,  it  was  then  that 
the  authority  and  true  character  both  of  the  Old  and 
New  Testaments  were  fully  manifested  to  their  minds, 
so  that  the  two  doctrines — the  Bible  alone,  and  Christ 
Jesus  alone — went  hand  in  hand,  and  nobody  could 
say  which  came  first  and  which  came  second. 
They  really  came  simultaneously.  It  was  by  finding 
God  in  Christ  that  they  found  that  the  Scripture  and 
the  Scripture  alone  was  the  Word  of  God. 

The  authority  of  Scripture  was  acknowledged  as  a 
theory  in  all  the  churches.  It  was  only  that  horrible 
Council  of  Trent  that  made  it  a  doctrine  that  tradition 
was  of  equal  importance  with  the  Word  of  God,  and 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        141 

that  introduced  again  the  Apocrypha  which  all  the 
ancient  Church  had  condemned  as  no  part  of  the 
Word  of  God.  During  all  the  centuries  preceding 
the  Reformation  there  was  not  the  slightest  dispute 
as  to  the  fact  that  the  Scripture  was  the  Word  of 
God  and  the  only  authority.  There  is  a  very  won- 
derful illustration  of  this  in  one  of  the  splendid  manu- 
scripts on  parchment,  preserved  in  the  library  in 
Paris — a  manuscript  of  the  orations  of  Gregory  of 
Nazianzen.  There  is  frequently  an  illustration  at  the 
beginning  of  a  chapter.  One  represents  the  Council 
at  Constantinople  in  the  year  381.  It  met  to  judge 
the  doctrine  of  Macedonius  about  the  procession  of 
the  Holy  Ghost,  and  of  Apollonius  about  the  will  of 
Christ.  The  bishops  are  seated  in  a  semicircle  ; 
the  emperor  Theodosius  is  also  there ;  but  in  the 
middle  of  this  semicircle  there  is  a  throne.  Neither 
emperor  nor  bishop  is  sitting  on  that  throne.  On 
that  throne  there  lies  the  roll  of  the  Holy  Scripture. 
The  idea  of  this  picture  must  have  originated  at 
the  end  of  the  fourth  century.  What  could  be  a 
more  striking  proof  that,  the  Council  held,  that 
nothing  was  to  decide  doctrine  or  faith  but  the 
Scripture  ?  But  to  hold  the  t'aith  in  theory  and  to 
hold  it  in  heart  —  conviction  and  experience, —  are 
two  different  things. 

Now  what  did  the  Reformation  do  ?  First,  it 
said  the  Scripture  is  the  only  authority,  because  it 
alone  is  the  Word  of  God.  Tradition  gives  us  only 
the  opinions  and  views  of  men. 

And  besides  tradition  there  was  also  a  great 
element  of  rationalism  in  the  Church  of  Rome  ;  in 
fact  several  popes  and  many  cardinals  were  down- 
rijjht   infidels  who   did   not   believe   in   the   historical 


142        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

facts  about  Christ  or  even  in  the  resurrection.  Martin 
Luther  said — and  I  do  not  think  he  ever  said  any- 
thing better  or  more  important — "  The  Church  of 
Rome  is  founded  not  upon  the  rock  of  Scripture, 
but  upon  human  reasoning.  It  is  a  rationahstic 
Church."  And  this  is  another  saying  of  Luther 
and  exceedingly  pregnant — "  Up  to  this  time,  we 
have  been  taught  in  our  schools  and  colleges  that 
nobody  can  be  a  theologian  unless  he  begins 
with  Aristotle  "  —  (that  is,  with  metaphysics)  — 
"  and  I  say  that  nobody  can  be  a  theologian  unless 
he  first  gets  rid  of  Aristotle  ;  "  that  is  to  say,  that 
Scripture  has  its  own  teaching  and  its  own  philo- 
sophy, and  that  we  must  not  take  human  philosophy 
and  apply  it  to  the  judgment  and  exposition  of  the 
Word  of  God. 

The  Scripture  is  the  Word  of  God.  The  Scripture 
is  the  only  revelation  in  which  God  makes  known  to 
us  the  things  concerning  our  salvation.  Therefore 
we  must  listen  to  nothing  else. 

The  second  point  was  this  : — The  Scripture  has 
a  centre,  and  that  is  Christ.  Once  we  understand 
this  centre  we  understand  everything.  Now  we 
understand  the  law  that  it  is  a  schoolmaster  to 
bring  us  unto  Christ.  Now  we  understand  the 
prophets  that  they  predicted  Christ.  Now  we 
understand  the  apostles,  that  they  explained  the 
person  and  work  of  Christ.  Now  we  understand  the 
patriarchs  and  David  and  all  the  saints,  that  their 
experience  was  that,  where  sin  abounded  unto  death, 
only  grace  could  abound  unto  eternal  life.  There- 
fore now  the  whole  Scripture  is  but  one.  Your 
traditions,  your  philosophies,  your  explanations,  can 
never  be   harmonised    and    reconciled.       They  have 


OLD  TESTAMENT—THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        143 

no  unity,  they  have  no  centre,  because  Christ  is 
the  centre  of  all  unity,  and  Christ  is  the  centre  of 
the  Scripture. 

Third  point :  We  are  sure  that  we  are  saved  when 
we  believe  in  Christ  according  to  the  Scriptures. 
You,  Church  of  Rome,  have  never  given  us  any 
certainty.  You  are  like  a  kind,  of  insurance  society 
telling  us  that  we  ought  to  credit  you  and  that  you 
promise  us, — and  you  cannot  promise  us  with  any 
certainty.  Not  even  after  death.  There  is  the 
vague,  illimitable  stretch  of  purgatory.  This  kind  of 
feeling  of  safety,  or  of  thinking  we  have  done  the 
best  thing  that  can  be  done,  is  not  what  the  Scripture 
gives  us.  God  gives  us  assurance.  Faith  {?,  fiducia, 
trust,  a  placid  conviction  of  the  heart  that  Jesus 
is  our  Saviour.  That  was  the  very  nerve  of  the 
Reformation.  What  is  the  reason  that  the  old 
Catholic  movement  in  our  present  day  can  never 
come  to  anything,  unless  it  pleases  God  to  give  more 
of  His  Holy  Spirit  to  the  men  that  are  engaged  in 
it  ?  It  does  not  speak  to  the  conscience  ;  it  does 
not  speak  to  the  heart  ;  it  does  not  show  the  fulness 
of  salvation  in  Jesus  ;  and  after  all,  all  other  blessings 
are  secondary.  That  for  which  the  Church  of  Christ 
exists  is — to  stand  aside  and  let  the  full  light  and 
love  of  Christ  flow  into  the  heart  of  every  poor  and 
trembling  sinner. 

The  next  point  the  Reformation  proclaimed  was 
this  :  The  Scripture  is  its  own  authority.  We  do 
not  believe  in  the  Scripture  because  you  guarantee  it. 
A  Romanising  clergyman  once  said  to  me,  "  And 
who  has  given  you  the  Scripture  ?  "  Who  has  given 
me  the  Scripture  ?  I  know  who  has  given  me  the 
Scripture.      The  synagogue   has   given   me  the  Old 


144        THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

Testament,  and  am  I  therefore  to  deny  that  Jesus  is 
the  Messiah  ?  Because  the  synagogue  has  given 
me  the  Old  Testament,  am  I  bound  to  -interpret 
the  Old  Testament  with  their  blindness  ?  I  am 
thankful  that  it  has  given  me  the  Old  Testament, 
but  it  has  no  authority  to  interpret  to  me  the 
Old  Testament.  And  as  for  the  Church  that  has 
given  me  the  New  Testament,  I  am  thankful  to  the 
Church  that  has  given  me  the  New  Testament.  But 
the  authority  of  the  Church  in  interpreting  the  New 
Testament,  specially  when  it  says  exactly  the 
opposite  to  what  is  written  in  the  New  Testament, 
certainly  no  Christian  can  acknowledge,  for  the 
Scripture  is  very  simple  and  plain. 

The  next  point  proclaimed  by  the  Reformation 
was  the  perspicacity  of  Scripture.  There  are  many 
difficulties  in  the  Bible,  but  they  arc  as  great  difficulties 
to  the  learned  as  they  are  to  .the  unlearned.  In  the 
Church  of  Christ  there  is  no  distinction.  These  things 
are  written  for  all  the  children  of  God,  and  if  we  do 
not  understand  everything  we  must  wait  till  it  pleases 
God  to  make  it  plain  to  us,  and  perhaps  it  will 
never  be  made  plain  to  us  ;  but  all  that  is  profitable 
and  necessary  and  salutary  and  enjoyable  is  plain  to 
the  Christian.  I  admit  that  the  Bible  is  very  obscure 
to  two  classes  of  people.  The  Bible  is  very  obscure 
to  those  who  wish  to  find  in  the  Bible  what  is  not 
there.  If  you  wish  to  find  that  there  are  many 
mediators  and  intercessors  between  God  and  man,  it 
will  be  very  difficult  to  find  it  in  the  Bible.  If  you 
wish  to  find  the  Virgin  Mary  seated  upon  a 
heavenly  throne,  you  may  read  the  whole  New 
Testament  carefully  ;  you  will  find  the  Virgin  Mary 
mentioned   in   the  ist  chapter  of  the  book  of  Acts 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        145 

with  the  other  disciples  and  women,  praying  for  the 
Holy  Ghost's  advent  ;  and  in  the  book  of  the 
Apocalypse  there  are  the  four  living  beings,  and 
there  are  the  twenty-four  elders,  and  there  are  the 
multitude  of  those  that  have  washed  their  robes  and 
made  them  white  in  the  blood  of  the  Lamb — but 
any  special  mention  of  the  Virgin  Mary  you  will  not 
find  there.  Therefore  the  Bible  is  very  obscure  on 
that  ground.  The  Bible  is  also  very  obscure  if  you 
want  to  find  in  it  all  those  doctrines  of  righteous- 
ness by  works,  and  of  penances  and  saints  and  the 
worship  of  angels  and  such  things.  If  we  wish  to 
find  in  the  Bible  what  is  not  there,  the  Bible  is  very 
obscure.  And  if  we  are  determined  not  to  find  in 
the  Bible  what  is  in  the  Bible,  the  Bible  is  also  very 
obscure.  Oh,  what  difficulties  have  those  rationalists 
had  !  They  did  not  wish  to  find  in  the  Bible  the 
divinity  of  Jesus.  They  did  not  wish  to  find  in  the 
Bible  the  substitution  in  the  death  of  Christ.  They 
did  not  wish  to  find  in  the  Bible  the  necessity  of 
regeneration.  They  afterwards  did  not  wish  to  find 
in  the  Bible  anything  miraculous.  Oh,  it  was 
exceedingly  difficult  to  explain  the  Bible,  until  at 
last  a  man  like  Strauss  came  and  said,  "  Now  what 
is  the  use  of  deceiving  yourselves  and  deceiving  the 
world  and  being  simply  jugglers  ?  You  do  not 
believe  it,  and  it  is  much  better  to  say  that  you  do 
not  believe  it  and  there  is  no  explaining  it.  It  is 
simply  a  mythical  representation  of  ideas."  But  if 
we  are  willing  to  find  in  the  Bible  what  is  in  the 
Bible,  the  Bible  is  simple.  And  the  Reformers  said, 
"  The  Bible  is  abundant.  We  do  not  want  anything 
more.  What  are  all  your  silly  stories  and  legends 
of  saints  who  did  not  know  what  the  real  point  was 

L 


146       THE  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  THE 

between  God  and  the  sinner  ?  We  do  not  want  them 
when  we  have  the  Ufe  of  Abraham,  when  we  have 
the  Psalms  of  David,  when  we  have  the  experience 
of  the  apostle  Paul.  As  for  your  little  command- 
ments about  eating  meat  on  Friday  and  all  the 
things  that  you  have  invented,  we  do  not  want  them 
when  we  have  the  beautiful  ten  commandments  of 
God,  and  all  the  law  of  Moses,  and  the  precepts  of 
the  apostles,  and  the  Sermon  on  the  Mount.  As  for 
your  sifting  people, — trying  to  find  out  all  the  sins 
they  have  committed, — we  do  not  want  it,  for  the 
Bible  is  a  sharp  and  two-edged  sword,  and  there  is 
no  other  father  confessor  but  the  Scripture  that  will 
search  and  probe  the  conscience.  We  want  nothing.- 
The  Bible  is  God's  Word  and  'profitable  for  doctrine, 
for  correction,  for  instruction,  for  reproof,  that  the 
man  of  God  may  be  perfect,  thoroughly  furnished 
unto  every  good  work.' "     That  is  what  they  said. 

But  they  also  said  that  there  were  to  be  in  the 
Church  teachers  and  pastors,  for  the  explanation  of 
the  Bible.  The  Reformers  acknowledged  that  people 
require  guidance, — and  this  is  the  great  object  of 
the  ministry — not  to  perform  ceremonies  and  not 
to  call  themselves  "  priests,"  but  to  be  expositors  of 
Scripture  ;  and  not  merely  expositors  of  Scripture, 
but  also  men  who  are  able  to  apply  the  Scriptures. 
The  man  who  said  "  How  can  I  understand  unless 
some  one  guide  me  ? "  was  quite  right.  This  is  a 
favourite  text  with  the  Romanists  who  tell  us,  "  Do 
not  circulate  the  Scriptures.  How  can  people  under- 
stand them  ?  They  do  not  know  what  they  say." 
"  How  can  I  understand  unless  some  one  guide  me  ?  " 
Yes,  quite  true.  When  the  evangelist  Philip  had 
explained  to  the  Ethiopian   that  Jesus  died   for  our 


OLD  TESTAMENT— THE  NEW  TESTAMENT        147 

sins  and  rose  again  for  our  justification,  he  guided 
him.  He  had  given  him  the  key.  "  Now  you  can 
understand  the  Scripture."  And  then  Philip  was 
taken  away  from  him,  and  yet  the  Ethiopian  went 
on  rejoicing,  with  the  prophet  Isaiah  in  his  hand  and 
with  the  key  that  opens  the  prophet  Isaiah.  The 
Church  in  the  person  of  Philip  had  fulfilled  her 
mission  and  laid  the  foundation.  When  the  Church 
of  Rome  will  preach  Jesus,  it  will  find  out  that  this 
is  the  way  in  which  people  are  guided  to  understand 
the  Scriptures  themselves. 

But  the  great  point  which  we  must  put,  and 
which  the  Reformers  were  foremost  in  bringing  before 
people  was  the  necessity  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  The 
Holy  Ghost  uses  the  Scripture.  We  do  not  rely 
upon  the  Scripture  in  itself.  We  rely  upon  the 
Holy  Ghost  who,  by  the  Scripture,  enlightens  the 
mind  and  persuades  the  heart  to  accept  Christ  as 
offered  to  us  in  God's  Word.  And  therefore  it  was 
the  unanimous  teaching  of  all  the  Reformers  that 
the  basis,  upon  which  our  certainty  of  Scripture 
being  the  Word  of  God  rests,  is  the  testimony  of 
the  Holy  Ghost. 

And  now,  dear  friends,  I  must  conclude  with  this 
one  word.  The  apostle  was  anxious  that  all  the 
churches  should  enter  fully  into  the  knowledge  of 
God's  counsel.  That  was  his  constant  prayer  to 
God.  He  therefore  expected,  that  not  merely  by 
teaching  but  by  prayer,  he  would  indoctrinate  the 
people  whom  he  loved.  Oh,  what  a  lesson  is  given 
both  to  ministers  and  people  to  seek  continually  the 
light  of  the  guidance  of  the  Holy  Spirit  ;  and  the 
object  of  the  Holy  Spirit  is  given  in  the  words, 
"  He  shall  glorify  me."      To  bring   us  to   Jesus,  to 


148  CHURCH  OF  CHRIST  BASED  ON  OLD  TESTAMENT 

give  us  peace  and  joy  through  faith  in  Jesus,  and 
to  keep  us  in  Jesus  faithful  to  our  Saviour  and 
obedient  to  our  heavenly  Father — this  is  the  object 
of  the  Spirit,  acting  through  the  Scriptures.  May 
God  grant  these  gifts  unto  each  one  of  us. 


VIII 

PRESENT   ASPECTS    OF    DOUBT    AND    UNBELIEF 
AS    REGARDS    THE    SCRIPTURE 

Present  aspects  of  doubt  and  unbelief — No  true  understanding  of 
Scripture  in  its  living  power  unless  by  the  Spirit — Revelation 
a  connected  chain  in  which  link  gives  strength  to  link — Strik- 
ing resemblance  between  history  of  Jewish  nation  from  Moses 
to  Ezra  and  of  Christian  Church  from  its  beginning  to  the 
Reformation — ^ Nothing  had  developed  in  the  Church  except  decay — 
All  was  perfect  at  first— It  might  as  well  be  said  that  Galatians 
was  written  by  Luther,  as  Deuteronomy  by  llilkiah  in  Josiah's 
period — The  Reformation,  like  every  great  revival,  soon  lost  much 
of  its  first  power— Rationalism  and  deism  assailed  theChurch  ;  these 
merged  afterwards  into  pantheism,  and  then  into  materialism — 
Pantheistic  attempt  to  explain  New  Testament — Its  failure — 
The  true  position  of  reason  as  receptive,  not  creative. 

I  WISH  this  morning  to  lay  before  you  my  views 
on  the  present  aspects  of  doubt  and  unbeHef  as 
regards  the  Scripture.  The  words  which  Jesus  Christ 
addressed  to  the  Sadducees  when  he  said  "  God  is 
not  the  God  of  the  dead,  but  of  the  Hving  "  apply  also 
to  Scripture.  It  is  impossible  for  us  to  have  a  true 
understanding  of  Scripture  unless  the  Word  of  God 
is  living  within  us.  They  who  stand  on  the  shore 
may  take  an  objective  view  of  a  ship,  but  they  only 
who  are  in  the  ship  are  carried  along  by  the  current 
of  the  mighty  river.  And  thus  the  Scripture,  while 
in  one  respect  it  has  to  be  viewed   as  the  revelation 


I50     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

which  God  sent  from  above,  may  hkewise  be  viewed 
as  the  diary  of  the  congregation,  the  record  which 
the  congregation  keeps  of  the  deahngs  of  God  and  of 
His  words  and  promises  to  her.  There  is  a  river  the 
source  of  which  is  in  eternity,  as  revealed  to  us  in 
the  New  Testament,  the  visible  and  timely  source  of 
which  is  in  the  Garden  of  Eden,  where  God  gave 
the  first  promise  of  redemption  ;  and  this  river  must 
flow  on  until  it  enter  the  ocean  of  blessedness  and 
glory,  at  the  appearing  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ,  In  this  river  of  the  history  of  redeem- 
ing love,  prophets  and  apostles  sent  by  God  from 
time  to  time  and  entrusted  with  His  message  are 
above  us,  being  the  representatives  of  the  divine 
mind  ;  but  in  another  respect  we  are  on  a  level  with 
them.  Our  fellowship  is  with  the  fellowship  of  prophets 
and  apostles,  and  the  same  life  which  animates  them 
animates  our  spirits  also. 

The  continuity  of  Scripture  as  of  a  river  is  a  point 
of  the  greatest  importance,  for  revelation  does  not  con- 
sist in  oracles  and  prophecies  given  from  time  to  time 
without  any  connection,  but  it  is  one  connected  and 
united  chain,  in  which  link  gives  strength  to  link. 
And  thus  it  is  that  unless  Moses  had  believed  in  the 
God  of  Abraham,  of  Isaac,  and  of  Jacob,  he  could  not 
have  received  the  new  revelation  of  Jehovah  and  of 
the  covenant  which  He  was  about  to  make  with  His 
people.  Every  prophet  refers  back  to  the  past  until, 
at  last,  in  John  the  Baptist  the  whole  law  and 
prophets  are  raised  up  again  and  appear  to  us  con- 
centrated in  his  voice,  for  he  reproduced  the  Old 
Testament  Scriptures  knowing  that  the  ist  l\salm 
and  the  40th  chapter  of  Isaiah  and  the  3rd 
chapter  of  the   prophet   Malachi   were   incarnate    in 


AS  REGARDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  151 

Jesus  ;  and  all  those  of  Israel  who  accepted  the  testi- 
mony of  John  the  Baptist  were  thereby  directly 
in '  the  current  both  of  the  Scripture  history  and 
of  the  Scripture  books.  And  thus  was  it  also  with 
the  disciples  of  Jesus  when  He  told  them  that  the 
Scriptures  referred  to  Himself,  and  when,  after  His 
resurrection.  He  opened  their  understanding,  so  that 
they  understood  the  Scriptures  and  remembered  the 
words  which  He  had  spoken  to  them.  They  were 
immediately  in  possession  of  the  whole  Scripture, 
whilst  the  scribes  and  the  Pharisees,  with  all  their 
traditional  law  and  exegetical  skill,  stood  outside  the 
Scripture,  on  the  shore.  They  were  not  carried 
along  by  the  river  ;  they  did  not  know  the  name 
"  Jehovah  "  in  its  power  and  in  its  blessedness. 

The  Scriptures  are  finished,  but  the  Spirit  by 
whose  guidance  the  Scriptures  were -written  is  still 
watching  over  them,  and  the  history  of  the  Bible, 
during  the  last  eighteen  centuries,  throws  the  most 
wonderful  light  upon  the  history  which  is  recorded  in 
Scripture  itself.  God,  the  Creator,  after  He  had 
finished  the  heavens  and  the  earth  did  not  leave 
creation  to  itself  He  is  still  upholding  all  things  by 
the  word  of  His  power.  "My  FE.ther  worketh  hitherto 
and  I  work."  Jesus  the  Saviour,  after  He  had  laid  the 
foundation  of  the  Church  by  His  incarnation,  death, 
and  resurrection,  did  not  leave  the  Church  to  itself 
He  is  Immanuel.  "  I  am  with  you  alway,  even  unto 
the  end  of  this  age."  And  the  Holy  Ghost,  by  whom 
the  Scriptures  came  into  existence,  did  not  leave 
them  after  they  were  finished,  but  still  breathes  in 
them  and  breathes  through  them  the  breath  of  life 
and  of  everlasting  blessedness. 

Therefore  if  we  compare  the  history  of  the  Church 


152     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

of  Christ  up  to  the  time  of  the  Reformation  with 
the  history  of  the  Jewish  nation  from  Moses  until 
the  time  of  Ezra  and  Nehemiah,  we  find  a 
most  striking  resemblance.  During  the  first  four 
centuries  the  Church  of  Christ,  suffering  great  per- 
secution even  unto  death,  was  kept  in  an  attitude 
of  faith  and  of  living  hope  ;  but  no  sooner  had 
Christianity  overcome  heathenism  outwardly,  than 
heathenism  began  to  corrupt  and  to  modify 
Christian  doctrine  and  Christian  life,  just  as  it  had 
been  with  the  Jews,  who,  when  they  had  received  the 
fulness  of  divine  revelation,  when  Jehovah  had  made 
known  His  name  to  them,  and  given  to  them  the 
fiery  law  upon  Mount  Sinai,  immediately  fell  into 
the  idolatry  of  the  golden  calf;  and  the  whole  sub- 
sequent period  was  only  a  series  of  apostasy  and 
idolatry  and  world-conformity,  lit  up  occasionally  by 
gleams  of  revival, — the  people  being  remembered  in 
great  mercy  by  God,  when  He  sent  to  them  judges 
and  prophets  to  testify  for  Him.  But  what  had  the 
judges  and  the  prophets  to  do  but  to  refer  back 
again  to  that  perfect  revelation  which  God  had 
given  to  them,  in  Moses  ?  And  if  it  had  not  been 
for  that  revelation  through  Moses,  and  for  a  written 
record  of  that  revelation  which  was  acknowledged  to 
be  authentic,  Samuel  and  all  the  prophets  would  have 
been  utterly  helpless  and  without  strength,  in  the 
face  of  an  idolatrous  and  sinful  nation.  The  pro- 
phets were  not  men  of  genius  who  anticipated  the 
future,  and  who  therefore  could  only  be  understood 
by  a  few  chosen  members  of  their  nation  ;  the 
prophets,  instead  of  being  leaders  in  advance  of  their 
age,  pointed  back  to  the  ages  that  were  behind. 
Their  watchword  was  not  "  Excelsior."    Their  watch- 


AS  REGARDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  153 

word  was  "  Repentance."  "  Seek  ye  out  the  old 
paths."  "  Remember  the  law  which  my  servant 
Moses  gave  unto  you  on  Mount  Horeb."  And 
so  it  was  with  the  Reformation.  Just  as  Ezra 
and  Nehemiah  stood  between  Moses  and  the  first 
advent,  the  Reformers  stood  between  Christ  and  the 
second  advent.  What  they  did  was  this.  Leaving 
tradition  and  philosophy,  they  went  back  again  to 
the  New  Testament  revelation.  Nothing  can  be 
added  to  that  ;  nothing  must  be  taken  away  from 
that  ;  and  the  greatest  fallacy  of  all  is  to  say  as 
is  often  said — that  the  doctrine  of  the  apostles  had 
to  be  developed  in  the  Church.  Nothing  had  to  be 
developed  in  the  Church.  It  was  all  perfect  there  ; 
it  was  all  complete  there.  God's  thoughts,  God's 
ultimate  message,  philosophy  must  not  modify, 
philosophy  must  not  attempt  to  'defend  or  to 
make  palatable  to  the  wisdom  of  men.  Just  as 
the  naturalist  can  do  nothing  to  modify  nature,  but 
must  stand  in  the  simple  attitude  of  a  child  and  an 
observer,  to  see  and  to  worship,  and  just  as  a  man  who 
goes  into  mines,  where  gold  and  silver  and  precious 
jewels  are  hid  takes  no  money  with  him,  but  only 
the  capacity  of  receiving  and  treasuring  up  what  he 
may  discover,  so,  for  all  ages,  the  New  Testament 
doctrine  stands  high  as  heaven  above  us,  and  we  have 
only  to  wait  for  the  Holy  Ghost  to  take,  out  of  that 
fulness,  what  it  seems  good  to  Him  to  reveal  to  us. 

They  reproduced  the  Word  of  God.  This  is  what 
I  want  to  impress  upon  you.  The  Word  of  God  is 
written  in  Scripture,  but  it  is  a  living  word  which 
is  also  written  by  the  Holy  Ghost  in  the  hearts 
of  His  elect,  and  which  they  utter  again.  Take, 
for   instance,   the    Reformation   testimony   as   it    was 


154     P^^ESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

delivered  by  Luther.  The  whole  epistle  to  the 
Galatians  is  a  perfect  description  of  all  that  the 
Reformation  taught,  and  of  all  that  the  Reforma- 
tion did.  What  is  that  epistle?  There  is  only  one 
gospel.  This  gospel  is  not  of  man.  It  came  down 
from  heaven.  It  is  absolute  truth.  If  even  an 
apostle  Paul  or  an  angel  from  heaven  were  to  preach 
another  gospel,  he  would  be  excluded  from  the 
kingdom  of  God.  And  this  is  the  Gospel — that  in 
the  fulness  of  time  God  sent  His  Son,  born  of  a 
woman,  made  under  the  law,  to  redeem  them  that 
were  under  the  law,  by  being  made  a  curse 
for  them, — and  this  substitution  of  Christ  must 
be  received  by  faith,  quite  apart  from  the  law,  and 
without  any  works.  And  the  proof  that  it  must  be 
received  by  faith,  and  by  faith  alone,  is  this — that  no 
good  works  can  ever  be  produced  by  the  law,  for  the 
Holy  Ghost  never  comes  by  the  preaching  of  the 
law,  but  by  the  preaching  of  the  Gospel.  Is  this 
then  Luther's  epistle  ?  A  man  might  as  plausibly 
say  that  the  epistle  to  the  Galatians  was  written 
by  Luther,  as  many  say  nowadays  that  the  book  of 
Deuteronomy  was  written,  centuries  and  centuries, 
after  the  death  of  Moses.  When  the  Reformers, 
having  found  Christ,  and  having  found  that  the 
only  way  of  taking  hold  of  Christ  was  by  faith, 
and  that  the  one  way  of  pleasing  God  and  bring- 
ing forth  fruit  unto  eternal  life  was  by  the  Holy 
Ghost  given  by  faith,  and  by  faith  only, — believing  in 
the  truth  of  Scripture,  they  could  not  fail  also  to 
believe  the  scripture  of  truth.  And  this  was  their 
great  testimony — that  in  producing  the  message  of 
Scripture  they  were  able  to  speak  from  their  own 
experience,  and  with   a  divine   certainty   and    assur- 


AS  REGARDS  THE  SCRIETURE  155 

ancc.  There  were  many  philosophers,  lovers  of 
literature,  lovers  of  national  liberty,  who  at  first 
joined  the  Reformation,  but  they  were  not  of  the 
same  spirit,  nor  had  their  testimony  any  beneficial 
effect  upon  the  progress  of  the  Reformation.  In 
reference  to  Erasmus,  Luther  writes  :  "  The  Holy 
Ghost  is  not  sceptical.  He  does  not  write  upon 
our  hearts  objections  and  doubts,  but  convictions 
more  clear  than  that  of  our  own  existence  and  the 
outer  world  that  surrounds  us."  But  while  the 
Reformers  had  thus  tasted  the  old  wine,  and  while 
they  thus  had  themselves  imbibed  the  Scriptures  so 
that  they  reproduced  them, — the  current  of  the  divine 
word  flowing  again, — they  taught  all  the  people,  high 
and  low,  rich  and  poor,  old  and  young,  learned  and 
ignorant,  that  the  Holy  Ghost  would  be  given  to 
every  one  that  truly  searched  the  Scriptures,  and 
that  Scripture  explained  itself,  so  that  it  made 
the  whole  Christian  people  independent  of  human 
tradition  and  erudition.  No  longer  did  they  depend 
upon  the  fathers,  and  upon  the  consent  of  the  fathers, 
and  upon  all  those  things  which  keep  the  Bible  at  a 
distance  from  the  people. 

It  was  natural  that  the  Reformation  should 
dwell  chiefly  upon  the  Gospel,  but  the  Reformation 
had  a  wonderful  insight  into  the  whole  Scripture, 
and  specially  must  we  notice  the  great  light 
which  was  shed  by  it  on  the  Old  Testament, — 
and  this  according  to  the  nature  of  things.  It 
would  have  been  impossible  for  the  Reformers  to 
bring  before  the  Church  the  truths  of  the  New 
Testament  without  going  back  to  that  which  is  the 
foundation  —  Moses  and  the  prophets.  The  first 
reason    of    this     is     that    the    idea    of    God  —  the 


156     rRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

fundamental  idea  of  God  —  was  the  constant 
thought  and  the  constant  soul  exercise  of  Luther  ; 
for  in  the  papacy  the  idea  of  God  that  he  had 
received  was,  in  the  first  place,  the  metaphysical 
idea  —  God  infinite,  God  incomprehensible,  God 
dwelling  in  light  that  is  unapproachable  ;  and  this 
divine  majesty  filled  him  with  such  misery  and 
terror  that  he  was  not  able  to  approach  with  con- 
fidence, for,  as  he  says,  not  merely  did  his  reason 
not  take  hold  of  anything  infinite,  but  his  conscience 
also  was  terrified  by  the  idea  of  perfect  and  absolute 
purity  and  justice.  But  when  he  read  the  Old 
Testament,  and  especially  the  book  of  Psalms,  he 
found  that  the  God  that  was  revealed  there  is  not 
God,  as  He  is  in  Himself  in  His  absolute  and 
impenetrable  darkness  and  perfection,  but  God  who 
condescends,  who  clothes  Himself,  as  it  were,  in  a 
human  form,  who  is  full  of  mercy  and  compassion, 
who  reveals  His  name  unto  mankind  that  they  may 
be  able  to  call  upon  Him,  and  who  gives  to  them 
the  promise  of  absolute  and  ever-blessed  redemption. 
And  therefore  he  says  in  his  commentary  on  the 
51st  Psalm,  "When  David  says  'Have  mercy  upon 
me,  O  God,'  he  does  not  say  'O  God'  in  the  way  in 
which  the  Turks  (that  is  the  Unitarians)  and  the 
hypocrites  and  the  monks  say  '  O  God,'  knowing 
only  the  absolute  God  as  He  is  in  Himself;  but  he 
means  the  God  who  has  promised  to  send  Christ,  the 
God  of  all  grace,  of  consolation,  and  of  salvation." 
Thus  they  had  to  go  back  to  the  Old  Testament. 

Secondly,  they  had  to  go  back  to  the  Old 
Testament  because  the  people  no  longer  knew  what 
was  the  true  nature  of  sin  and  what  was  the 
true    nature    of    godliness ;     for    since    the    papacy 


.43  KEGARDS  7'HE  SCRIPTURE  157 

had  invented  its  own  commandments,  stigmatising 
things  as  sinful  which  God  had  never  called  sinful, 
and  giving  forth,  all  round,  precepts  and  command- 
ments which  were  not  spiritual  in  their  characiter,  it 
was  impossible  for  the  Reformers  to  know  what  was 
the  will  of  God,  both  for  themselves  and  for  the 
people,  unless  they  looked  into  the  bright  mirror  of 
the  law  as  revealed  to  us  in  Moses  and  the  prophets. 
That  was  the  great  consolation  that  Luther  had 
when  he  read  the  Psalms  of  David.  Here  were  none 
of  those  imaginary  saints  who  in  will-worship  and 
castigation  of  the  flesh,  and  in  doing  a  number  of 
useless  and  unprofitable  things,  fancied  that  they 
were  better  than  other  people,  and  that  they  were 
really  bringing  themselves  nearer  to  God  ;  but  here 
he  saw  a  man  who,  like  himself,  wished  to  be  spiritu- 
ally minded,  and  wished  to  have  his"  affections  set 
upon  the  things  that  pleased  God,  but  who  felt  the 
burden  of  sin  and  the  snares  of  temptation,  and 
who  therefore  continually  appealed  to  God  that  He, 
by  His  grace  and  by  His  Spirit,  might  draw  him  into 
fellowship  with  Himself 

But  thirdly,  as  I  have  already  hinted  by  this  last 
sentence,  the  Reformers  being  deeply  exercised,  and 
feeling  continually  the  attacks  of  the  world,  the 
temptations  of  Satan  and  the  evil  that  was  within 
them,  and  striving  against  it,  found  in  the  Old  Testa- 
ment what  they  did  not  find  in  the  New  Testament 
except  only  in  germ  and  in  principle — the  whole 
analysis  and  anatomy  of  the  human  heart,  and  such 
a  minute  description  of  the  road  which  we  have 
to  travel,  which  is  not  always  in  a  straight  line,  but 
crooked  and  winding, — with  all  the  different  exercises 
of   the  soul   and   of  the   mind,   as   described   in    the 


158     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

life  of  Abraham,  of  Jacob,  and  of  David,  and  in  the 
lives  of  all  the  prophets. 

And  lastly,  you  must  notice  that  since  the  New- 
Testament  appeals  to  the  Church,  whose  calling  is  a 
heavenly  one,  and  which  is  hastening  through  the 
world  unto  the  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  it  can- 
not dwell  upon  those  principles  of  God's  govern- 
ment in  the  world,  of  His  dealings  with  nations  and 
with  families,  that  we  find  in  the  Old  Testament  ; 
and  therefore,  whenever  there  is  any  great  turnin'g- 
point  in  the  history  of  the  nation,  when  there  is  any 
great  national  calamity  or  national  victory, — in  all 
such  junctures  we  turn  instinctively  to  the  Old 
Testament,  for,  there,  in  the  history  of  Israel 
we  see  the  divine  philosophy  of  all  history,  and 
the  principles  which  lie  at  the  foundation  of  God's 
dealings,  in  judgment  and  in  mercy,  with  the 
nations  of  the  earth.  Never,  it  may  be  said,  since 
the  days  of  the  apostles,  had  the  scriptures  of  the 
Old  and  New  Testaments  been  expounded  with  so 
much  light,  with  so  much  spirituality,  with  so  much 
truth,  and  with  so  much  experience,  as  by  Luther 
and  Calvin.  It  was  very  natural  for  them  to  dwell 
on  the  divine  aspect  of  Scripture — that  Scripture  was 
the  Word  of  God,  and  that  nothing  was  of  authority 
in  the  Church  but  the  Scripture  ;  for  on  the  one  side 
there  was  the  Church  of  Rome  with  its  theory  of 
tradition,  and  on  the  other  side  there  were  the  philo- 
sophers, the  intuitionalists  of  their  day,  who  said 
that  it  was  not  the  written  word  that  was  of  the 
highest  authority  and  importance,  but  that  it  was 
the  inner  consciousness,  not  the  shell  but  the 
kernel,  not  the  letter  but  the  spirit,  making  the 
light  which   is   within  us  judge   and   rejecter  of  the 


AS  KEGAKDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  159 

things  that  are  written.  Against  this  heresy  the  Re- 
formers contended  with  all  their  might.  As  Martin 
Luther  said,  "  Christ  did  not  say,  '  My  Spirit  is  spirit,' 
but  '  My  words  are  spirit  and  life.'"  And  as  for  the 
separation  of  letter  and  spirit,  of  kernel  and  shell,  it  is 
perfectly  impossible  for  us  to  make  such  a  separation ; 
for  the  written  Word,  as  we  have  it,  is  written  by  the 
action  and  under  the  guidance  of  the  Holy  Ghost. 

Another  way  in  which  they  showed  that  they 
dwelt  chiefly  on  the  divine  aspect  of  Scripture  was 
that,  instead  of  pointing  out  the  diversities  of  Scrip- 
ture, they  dwelt  rather  upon  its  unity,  showing  that 
Christ,  the  gospel  of  redemption,  grace,  faith,  ran 
through  the  whole  Scripture  from  Genesis  to  the 
book  of  Revelation.  Quite  true  ;  yet  they  did  not 
sufficiently  bring  into  prominence  that  the  Scripture 
was  given  at  sundry  times  and  in  divers  manners, 
and  that,  although  the  ultimate  meaning  of  the 
Holy  Ghost  was  always  the  same,  yet  the  under- 
standing of  men  from  the  time  of  Abel  and  from 
the  time  of  David,  and  from  the  time  of  Isaiah 
and  from  the  time  of  John  the  Baptist,  expanded 
and  grew  under  the  guidance  of  the  divine  dealings 
with  them,  so  that  they  understood  that,  although 
the  Bible  was  God's  Word,  it  was  a  divine  treasure 
in  earthen  vessels.  They  were  fully  aware  of  the 
human  character  of  Scripture.  Luther  in  a  preface 
which  he  wrote  to  the  Old  Testament,  and  which 
might  have  been  written  to-day,  speaks  of  those  who 
say  that  they  do  not  require  the  Old  Testament  any 
longer,  as  they  have  got  a  much  clearer  and  fuller 
light  in  the  New  Testament,  and  says  to  them, 
"  Do  not  be  offended  when  in  this  Old  Testament 
you  meet  with   lowly  and   homely  narratives,  but   be 


i6o     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

fully  assured  that  notwithstanding  this  outward 
lowly  and  homely  appearance,  you  meet  there  no- 
thing but  the  word  and  majesty  and  judgment  and 
mercy  of  the  Most  High,  for  thus  it  was  with  the 
dear  child  Jesus,  who  was  found  in  the  manger 
wrapped  up  in  very  mean  and  homely  clothes." 

According  to  a  very  sad  law  which  we  must 
observe  in  all  the  history  of  God's  people,  re- 
vivals like  gleams  of  sunshine,  like  sudden  showers, 
fertilising  and  refreshing,  are  short  -  lived  and 
transient  in  their  duration.  Such  were  the  revivals 
under  Hezekiah,  and  under  Josiah,  and  such  was 
the  revival  under  the  Reformers.  It  is  not  orthodoxy 
that  overcometh  the  world.  It  is  our  faith  that 
overcometh  the  world.  After  a  time  of  dead  ortho- 
doxy there  began  rationalism,  and  this  is  the  second 
movement  which  has  influenced  our  present  state, 
as  regards  our  attitude  to  the  Bible. 

Only  a  few  words  in  regard  to  this  movement. 
The  former  rationalistic  interpretation  of  Scripture 
could  only  be  understood,  by  the  view  which  it  took 
of  man  and  of  man's  salvation.  It  confirms  what  I 
have  been  endeavouring  to  impress  upon  you  in 
this  address — that  in  proportion  as  we  believe  the 
things  that  are  in  Scripture, shall  we  have  a  clear  under- 
standing of  the  authority  and  position  of  the  Scripture. 
The  man  on  the  shore  cannot  understand  the  authority 
of  Scripture.  You  must  be  in  the  ship,  one  with  the 
apostles  and  the  prophets,  and  carried  along  by  the 
self-same  living  river,  in  order  to  understand  it.  A 
rationalist  argued  in  this  way.  Not  believing  in  the 
fall  and  in  the  sinfulness  of  man  as  the  Bible 
explains  them,  he  said,  "  Man  does  not  require  a 
salvation,  coming  from  God   in  a  supernatural  way. 


AS  REGARDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  i6i 

He  has  within  himself  all  the  resources  which  are 
necessary  for  his  enlightenment,  for  his  elevation,  and 
fof  his  temporal  and  everlasting  blessedness.  By 
the  light  of  reason  he  can  discover  God,  and  by  an 
effort  of  will  he  can  do  the  things  which  are  right 
and  pleasing  before  God.  He  does  not  require  a 
divine  Saviour  ;  he  does  not  require  an  expiatory 
sacrifice  ;  he  does  not  require  a  regenerating  Holy 
Ghost.  He  has  in  himself  everything  that  he 
requires,  but  he  must  use  and  develop  his  powers." 
As  he  does  not  require  anything  supernatural  for 
himself,  it  is  clear  that  the  Bible  cannot  be  the 
record  of  anything  supernatural,  because  it  is  not 
wanted.  They  still  adhered  to  the  Bible,  partly 
from  reverence  for  it  and  the  position  which  it  had 
held  in  Christendom,  but  now  their  great  object 
was  to  explain  the  Bible,  in  accordance  with  their 
inward  experience.  Therefore  Christ  was  only  the 
best  of  men.  Christ's  death  was  only  the  death 
of  martyrdom.  The  Holy  Ghost  did  not  mean 
anything  special,  but  the  development  of  the  human 
mind  and  of  the  human  conscience.  It  was  only 
by  the  greatest  straining  and  by  the  most  artificial 
methods  that  such  views  could  frame  an  inter- 
pretation of  Scripture ;  and  this  soon  became  so 
manifest  that  the  whole  world  was  disgusted  with  it, 
for  they  said,  "  It  is  not  true,  it  is  not  honest.  A 
revelation  which  reveals  nothing  is  an  absurdity." 
And  therefore,  as  the  human  mind  progressed  in 
this  direction,  and  as  theism  developed  into  pan- 
theism and  into  materialism,  the  whole  artificial  and 
rotten  fabric  of  old  rationalism  fell  to  the  ground, 
not  without  having  left  deep  traces  which  remain 
on  the  minds  of  the  nations,  up  to  this  day. 

M 


i62     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

When  men  gave  up  faith  in  God  and  faith  in  the 
supernatural — when  they  started  with  the  axiom  in 
short  that  miracle  was  impossible — this  pantheistic 
supposition  was  applied  to  the  explanation  of  the  New 
Testament,  for  the  Old  Testament  had  been  already 
consigned  to  a  very  inferior  and  unimportant  place. 
It  was  by  very  ingenious  theorising  that  the  New 
Testament  was  brought  into  harmony  with  the 
pantheistic  supposition.  The  historic  reality  of 
Christ  in  the  gospels  was,  of  course,  an  impossibility. 
The  doctrine  of  the  apostles  did  not  flow  from  Christ ; 
and  in  the  same  method  as  it  is  now  maintained 
that  we  ought  not  to  say  "  Moses  and  the  prophets," 
but  that  we  ought  to  say  "  The  prophets  and  Moses," 
it  was  shown  that  the  narratives  of  the  gospels  were 
myths,  poetical  garments  woven  in  order  to  make 
plain  a  spiritual  story,  and  that  what  we  call 
"  Christianity "  was  not  the  teaching  of  Christ,  but 
was  gradually  developed,  especially  by  the  apostle 
Paul,  and  that  after  that  development  the  New 
Testament  was  formed  in  accordance  with  it ;  and 
this  pantheistic  theory  has  also  left  its  deep  impress 
on  the  human  mind.  Men  who  have  no  liking  for 
metaphysics,  but  who  are  attracted  by  the  world — I 
mean  by  the  outward — sink  into  materialism,  that  is 
to  say,  they  dwell  only  upon  the  things  that  are  seen 
and  upon  those  second  causes  only  which  we  can 
observe  and  trace.  The  result  of  all  this  has  been 
to  leave  three  impressions  upon  men's  minds,  and  it 
is  upon  these  radical  impressions  that  we  must  base 
the  difficulty  which  many  have  in  believing  in  the 
Scripture.  There  are  a  great  many  difficulties  con- 
nected with  Scripture,  but  if  there  was  strength 
within,  it  would  be  able  to  overcome   them   all.      It 


AS  REGARDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  163 

is  owing  to  the  fundamental  corruption  of  man 
that  the  numerous  difficulties  appear  to  be  in- 
superable. 

I  would  direct  your  attention  to  these  three  im- 
pressions. The  first  is  this  :  men  have  lost  faith  in 
God.  There  was  a  time  when  men  had  faith  in  God, 
and  at  that  time  they  tried  to  find  out  arguments  to 
prove  the  existence  of  God.  Then  there  came  a  time 
when  men's  faith  in  God  was  not  vital,  but  still  they 
adhered  to  the  arguments  for  the  existence  of  God. 
There  then  came  a  time  when  they  said  that  the 
arguments  for  the  existence  of  God  were  not  cogent ; 
and  afterwards  there  came  a  time  when  they  said  that 
the  arguments  were  false, — and  theism  fell  away  into 
pantheism  and  into  materialism.  Let  me  speak  freely 
upon  this  point.  There  is  only  one  God,  and  that  is 
Jehovah,  and  there  is  no  other  God  beside  Him  ;  and 
all  the  knowledge  that  the  ancient  nations  had  of 
God  was  a  reminiscence  of  that  which  had  been 
revealed  to  them.  The  living  God,  God  who  is 
from  everlasting  to  everlasting,  God  who  takes  an 
interest  in  us,  God  who  condescends  to  man,  and 
shows  to  him  his  salvation,  ir  a  God  whom  human 
reason  cannot  discover.  We  dwell  upon  second 
causes.  We  do  not  rise  to  the  only  source  and 
origin.  Scientific  men  acknowledge  that  both  the 
beginning  and  end  of  things  are  utterly  beyond  the 
reach  of  science  ;  and  what  else  is  this  but  a  corro- 
boration of  what  God  says,  "  I  am  the  first  and  I 
am  the  last." 

The  antipathy  of  men  against  the  God  who  is 
revealed  to  us  in  Scripture  shows  itself  in  their  anti- 
pathy to  miracle  and  prophecy,  for  a  living  God,  who 
interferes   by  action,  is  a   God    that  doeth   wonders. 


i64     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

and  the  living  God  who  interferes  by  revelation  is 
a  God  that  maketh  known  His  mysteries  to  the 
prophets  whom  He  hath  chosen. 

The  second  impression  is  connected  with  the  rela- 
tion between  reason  and  revelation.  It  is  often  said 
that  revelation  is  contrary  to  reason,  but  before  that 
position  is  discussed  the  question  ought  to  be  asked, 
"  Do  we  require  a  revelation  ?  Is  there  any  necessity 
for  a  revelation  ?  "  The  view  of  reason  which  God 
gives  us  in  His  Word  is  this.  He  appeals  to 
reason.  God  often  appeals  to  reason,  for  reason  is 
His  work,  and  it  is  the  light  which  He  has  kindled. 
But  the  reason  which  God  has  given  to  man  is  not 
sovereign  and  independent.  It  is  not  able  to  create 
truth  ;  it  is  only  able  to  receive  truth.  Adam  was 
created  in  the  image  of  God  unto  knowledge,  and 
the  knowledge  which  he  possessed  was  not  a  know- 
ledge which  had  its  fountain  in  himself, — but  he  had 
the  capacity  of  receiving  the  knowledge  as  it  was 
delivered  to  him  by  God.  Through  the  fall  of  man, 
reason  and  the  understanding  have  been  blinded  and 
darkened.  God  addresses  Himself  to  reason,  but  not 
to  reason  alone,  for  reason  does  not  exist  in  man, 
isolated.  God  addresses  Himself  to  all  that  is  within 
man,  and  the  reason  and  the  will  meet  in  that  centre 
of  humanity  which  is  the  heart.  Therefore  God 
speaks  to  the  heart,  and  the  Bible  says,  "  The  fool 
hath  said  in  his  heart  that  there  is  no  God." 

But,  when  God  speaks  to  the  reason.  He  brings 
light  with  the  word  which  He  speaks.  God  does 
not  speak  to  the  reason  in  the  Socratic  method, 
under  the  idea  that  there  is  already  in  the  reason 
of  man  all  that  He  wishes  to  bring  out,  and  that 
it  needs  only   to   be  developed,  but  the   entrance  of 


AS  /^EGAA'DS  THE  SCRIPTURE  165 

His  Word  itself  giveth  light,  and  the  things  which 
God  reveals  by  the  Spirit  enlarge  the  understanding 
and  raise  it  to  a  higher  level.  So  that  by  faith  we 
understand  that  God  has  created  the  world.  By 
faith  we  receive  the  things  which  eye  hath  not  seen 
nor  ear  heard,  neither  have  entered  into  the  heart  of 
man.  Faith  does  not  kill  reason,  nor  is  faith  in 
conflict  with  reason,  nor  is  reason  passive  when  it 
receives  the  message  of  God.  It  is  receptive.  Still 
there  are  many  things  of  which  we  can  take 
hold,  but  cannot  grasp  round  and  round, —  and 
therefore  did  Lord  Bacon  say  that  the  authority  of 
God  extends  over  the  whole  man — over  his  reason 
as  well  as  his  will ;  and  just  as  it  is  our  duty  to 
obey  the  commandments  of  God  when  the  will  is 
reluctant,  so  it  is  also  our  duty  to  believe  the 
revelation  of  God  when  the  reason  is  reluctant. 
Abraham  is  the  emblem  of  faith  which  receives  the 
promises,  while  Sarah  is  the  emblem  of  the  reason 
which  mocks  and  does  not  receive  the  promises. 
But  if  the  revelation  of  God  has  taken  possession 
of  us,  our  faith  will  always  remain  faith  until  we 
come  to  that  region  where  we  shall  see  these  things, 
and  know  even  as  we  are  known. 

But  there  is  another  thing  to  be  remembered  in 
connection  with  this,  and  it  is  that  reason  cannot  deal 
with  that  which  is  life.  It  cannot  understand  birth. 
It  cannot  understand  the  origination  of  anything.  It 
cannot  understand  the  individual.  Every  individual 
that  you  obtain  knowledge  of, — reason  has  nothing  to 
do  with  such  knowledge,  either  one  way  or  the  other. 
It  is  a  new  life  that  is  made  known  to  you.  It  is  a 
new  individuality  that  comes  into  contact  with  you. 
God   is   the   only   true   "  I    Am,"   the  only  person ; 


i66     PRESENT  ASPECTS  OF  DOUBT  AND  UNBELIEF 

and,  when  He  reveals  Himself  to  us,  all  that  is 
within  us  must  keep  silence,  for  the  Lord  God  is  in 
His  holy  temple,  and  all  that  is  within  us — reason, 
will,  feeling — will  be  stirred  up  to  magnify  and  praise 
the  name  of  the  Lord. 

There  is  a  third  impression,  and  it  is  also  of  great 
importance,  namely,  the  view  that  the  generahty  of 
people  take  of  this  world  as  well  as  of  themselves. 
They  think  that  it  is  a  good  world,  and  that  it  will 
become  better.  What  is  the  view  which  the  Bible 
takes  of  this  world  and  of  us  ?  That  it  is  an  evil  world 
and  will  become  worse  until  the  regeneration  of  all 
things,  and  that  we  are  bad  because  what  is  born  of 
the  flesh  is  flesh,  and  therefore  we  must  be  born  again. 
Now,  as  a  pantheist  truly  said,  all  human  beings 
are  either  Hebrews  or  Christians  or  Greeks.  The 
Hebrew  is  ascetic,  spiritual,  striving  to  get  rid  of  the 
outward,  of  the  shadow,  of  the  mere  picture.  The 
Greek  is  joyous,  loves  the  world,  feels  his  strength, 
boasts  of  his  development,  loves  the  things  that  are  in 
it,  in  all  their  serenity  and  in  all  their  colouring.  For 
a  long  time  people  imagined  that  because  Christianity 
said  that  there  was  no  difference  between  the  Jew  and 
the  Greek,  and  that  all  were  one,  Christianity  did  away 
with  the  stern  and  the  puritanical  spirit  of  the  Old 
Testament  ;  but  Christianity  is  yet  more  puritanical 
than  the  Old  Testament.  As  the  Old  Testament 
said,  "  Thou  shalt  have  no  other  God  beside  me," 
and  "  You  are  a  chosen  nation  of  God,  and  you 
must  not  conform  to  the  other  nations "  ;  and  as 
the  prophet  Isaiah  said  that  in  the  latter  days  the 
name  of  the  Lord  alone  should  be  exalted,  and 
every  mountain  and  every  cedar,  and  everything 
that  is  lofty  in  spirit,  should  be  swept  away,  and  the 


.•^.9  REGARDS  THE  SCRIPTURE  167 

idols  be  utterly  abolished,  so  says  the  New  Testament, 
"  Ye  are  not  of  the  world,  even  as  I  am  not  of  the 
world  "  ;  "  Love  not  the  world  "  ;  "  All  that  is  in  the 
world  is  not  of  the  Father "  ;  "  The  whole  world 
lieth  in  wickedness  "  ;  "We  are  strangers  and  pilgrims 
here  upon  earth,  and  we  are  waiting  for  the  coming 
of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  from  heaven."  Now  think 
of  this  nineteenth  century  with  its  proud  conscious- 
ness of  its  strength,  of  its  wealth,  of  its  science,  of 
its  culture, — with  its  worship  of  civilisation,  and  of 
art,  and  of  the  beautiful.  Is  it  not  diametrically 
opposed  to  the  very  spirit  of  the  whole  Scripture  ? 
It  is  on  account  of  these  things — the  result  of  all 
those  movements  which  I  have  endeavoured  to 
describe,  the  impressions  which  are  made  upon  men 
deep-seated  in  the  heart,  and  ramified  in  all  our 
literature  and  our  daily  life — that  "there  is  such  a 
conflict  between  Scripture  and  the  modern  mind. 
There  are  many  difficulties  ;  but  difficulty  after 
difficulty  may  be  answered,  objection  after  objection 
may  be  removed,  and  the  same  conflict  still  continues. 
Remember  what  the  apostle  of  love  has  said  to  us, 
speaking  of  Jesus  Christ,  "  This  is  the  true  God  and 
eternal  life.  Little  children,  keep  yourselves  from 
idols." 


IX 


ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE  OLD  AND 
NEW  TESTAMENTS 

Difficulties  as  to  the  Old  Testament  by  people  who  profess  to  believe  in 
the  New  Testament — (i)  The  God  of  the  Old  Testament  different 
from  the  God  of  the  New — A  God  of  wrath  instead  of  love — This 
difficulty  rooted  in  a  misunderstanding  of  the  New  Testament — 
God's  dealings  with  the  patriarch,  as  a  Friend — Propitiation  in  New 
Testament  teaches  God's  justice — New  Testament  says  that  men  are 
perishing  without  Christ — Character  of  God  same  throughout — 
In  Old  Testament  most  wonderful  expressions  of  loving-kindness 
— (2)  In  New  Testament  God  does  not  deal  with  nations,  but 
with  individuals — Difficulties  as  to  national  dealings  with  Israel 
apply  equally  to  all  His  government  of  nations — (3)  It  is  said  that 
in  the  Old  Testament  there  is  only  a  present-day  religion — This 
applies  to  nations  as  such,  not  individuals — Foreshadows  the  pro- 
sperity of  the  reign  of  Christ — (4)  Saints  in  Old  Testament  are 

,  said  to  be  vindictive — Not  vindictive  but  judicial,  and  same  spirit 
in  New  Testament  as  seen  in  our  Lord's  condemnation  of  the 
Scribes  and  Pharisees — Forgiveness  fully  taught  in  the  Old 
Testament — Judgment  clearly  taught  in  the  New. 

We  have  this  morning  to  consider  the  prevalent  and 
popular  difficulties  and  objections  raised  against  the 
Old  Testament  Scriptures  by  people  who  profess  that 
they  believe  the  New  Testament.  I  do  not  consider 
now  difficulties  which  are  raised  by  those  who  reject 
the  whole  testimony  of  God  ;  but  I  consider  the  fact, 
which  must  be  obvious  to  all  of  you,  that  there  are  a 
number  of  people  who,  while  they  profess  to  believe 
in  the  New  Testament,  have  a  feeling  of  perplexity 


DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE   TESTAMENTS  169 

and  doubt  and  unbelief  with  regard  to  the  Old 
Testament,  and  have  well-nigh  rejected  it.  And 
the  reason,  why  I  state  these  difficulties,  is  because 
this  will  prepare  the  way  for  the  analysis  of  the 
structure,  and  for  the  explanation  of  the  peculiarities 
of  the  Old  Testament  Scriptures,  which  I  purpose 
to  give. 

I  shall  notice  six  difficulties.  The  first  difficulty 
may  be  expressed  in  this  way.  We  find  that  the 
God  of  the  Old  Testament  is  different  from  the  God 
of  the  New  Testament.  The  God  of  the  New 
Testament  is  love, — full  of  mercy  and  tenderness. 
The  God  of  the  Old  Testament  seems  to  be  a  God 
of  wrath  and  of  anger.  If  this  difficulty  is  correct 
it  is  fatal,  because  the  whole  object  of  the  Old 
Testament  is  to  reveal  Jehovah  ;  and  if  the  Old 
Testament  does  not  give  us  a  true  view  of  Jehovah, 
the  Old  Testament  has  been  written  in  vain.  I 
wish  to  show  how  this  objection  is  rooted  in  a 
deep  misunderstanding  of  the  teaching  of  the  New 
Testament. 

According  to  Scripture  there  is  no  knowledge  of 
God  inherent  in  man.  Man  was  created  in  the 
image  of  God  unto  knowledge,  with  soul  and  spirit 
capable  of  receiving  the  revelation  of  God  ;  and  after 
the  strivings  of  God  with  mankind  in  general  came  to 
an  end,  at  the  dispersion  of  nations  at  the  Tower  of 
Babel,  God  left  the  Gentile  nations  to  themselves, 
and  all  that  they  thought  of  God,  and  all  the  longings 
that  they  had  after  God  must  be  viewed  as  remnants, 
and  reminiscences,  of  that  primeval  revelation  which 
God  had  vouchsafed  to  mankind, — and  the  witness 
of  the  Spirit  of  God  in  the  consciences  and  minds 
of  men. 


I70        ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

When  the  apostle  Paul  says  to  the  Ephesians, 
"  Ye  who  were  once  afar  off  hath  he  brought  nigh," 
he  does  not  merely  refer  to  the  atonement  of  Christ 
by  which  sinners  are  reconciled  to  God,  but  he 
expresses  a  great  general  and  important  fact — that 
all  the  Gentile  nations  up  to  the  time  of  Christ  were 
at  a  distance  from  God, — outside  the  circle  in  which 
God  manifested  His  light  and  His  presence.  There- 
fore the  apostle  Paul,  when  he  spoke  to  the  Athenians, 
although  the  Athenians  were  the  wisest  and  most 
cultured  of  all  the  nations  of  the  world,  said  to  them 
that  all  their  previous  history,  with  all  the  great 
thinkers  and  philosophers  which  they  had  produced, 
was  the  time  of  ignorance,  in  which  they  were  in 
darkness,  without  the  knowledge  of  the  true  God, 
Therefore  the  Gentiles  were  brought  nigh  in  Jesus 
when  they  were  brought  into  the  commonwealth 
of  Israel,  and  when  the  light  which  shone  upon  the 
chosen  nation  of  God  reached  also  their  minds  and 
hearts  ;  for  there  were  only  two  circles  in  which  God 
became  known  as  God, — as  a  living  one, — as  a  per- 
son,— as  a  loving  one.  The  first  was  Israel,  for  God 
revealed  Himself  to  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob. 
He  dealt  with  them  as  their  friend,  and  the  whole 
nation  afterwards  knew  that  God  was  not  a  distant 
God,  but  that  He  was  very  near  to  them,  because 
He  was  the  friend  of  their  forefathers,  to  whom  He 
spake,  and  who  had  experience  of  His  presence  and 
of  His  power.  Likewise,  the  subsequent  generation 
stood  at  the  foot  of  Mount  Horcb,  and  they  heard 
the  voice  of  God, — and  Moses  afterwards  says,  "  Was 
there  ever  a  nation  like  you  to  whom  God  manifests 
Himself  so  that  you  can  have  no  doubt  that  there  is 
a  God  and  that  this  God  is  dealing  with  you?"      Like- 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  171 

wise  when  God  became  manifest  in  the  person  of 
Jesus  the  apostles  testified,  "  We  have  beheld  the 
glory  of  the  Only  Begotten  of  the  Father.  We  have 
seen  and  we  have  heard  and  we  have  handled  the 
Word  of  life, — and  this  Jesus,  who  is  the  true  God 
and  eternal  life,  behold,  Him  declare  we  unto  you." 
So  that  Israel  and  the  Church  alone  have  the  know- 
ledge of  God  as  He  is  God, —  the  person, —  the 
living  One, — the  only  true  and  blessed  One. 

When  people,  without  receiving  this  fact,  still 
imagine  that  they  are  able  to  construct  God  out  of 
their  own  intuition  and  reason,  and  when  they  select 
from  the  Bible  the  passages  which  are  according  to 
their  mind,  leaving  out  all  others,  they  fall  into 
the  error  of  supposing,  that  they  themselves  have 
discovered  those  beautiful  and  attractive  features  of 
the  divine  character,  which  they  have  selected.  But 
in  this  respect  they  are  mistaken.  Man  never  could 
have  found  them  out  of  himself.  And  in  another 
respect  they  are  mistaken.  By  separating  what 
they  like  from  those  declarations  which  they  do  not 
like,  they  lose  entirely  the  right  understanding  of  their 
favourite  passages.  Now  the  whole  world  says  that 
what  it  likes  in  the  New  Testament  is  the  declaration 
that  God  is  love, — and  indeed  this  is  the  sum  and 
substance  of  all  that  God  has  taught  us  ;  but  if  we 
ask  the  question,  "  How  is  it  that  no  one  else  ever 
said  that  God  was  love  ? — that  none  of  the  Gentiles, 
however  great  their  learning,  and  however  deep  and 
acute  their  powers  of  mind,  ever  rose  to  this  con- 
ception, and  that  the  Romans  and  Greeks  thought 
rather  that  the  gods  did  not  love  us,  that  they  were 
envious  of  our  prosperity,  and  that  all  that  we  could 
do  was   to  appease  them,— and   how  is   it  that   this 


172        ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

declaration  that  God  is  love  was  uttered  by  him  who 
leaned  on  the  bosom  oi  Jesus}  "  what  is  the  answer? 
Again,  what  is  meant  in  the  New  Testament  when 
it  says  that  God  is  love  ?  It  is  easy  for  me  to 
believe  that  God  loves  me  as  long  as  I  think  that  I 
am  lovable  ;  but  just  in  proportion  as  I  find  that  I 
am  unlovable,  full  of  sin  and  guilt  and  pollution  in 
the  sight  of  God,  is  it  difficult  for  me  to  believe  that 
God  is  love.  Now  the  New  Testament  emphasises 
this  difficulty  to  the  very  highest  point.  Surely  God 
Himself  must  know  wherein  consists  the  excellency 
and  wonderfulness  of  His  love,  and  God  commendeth 
His  love  to  mankind — not  in  that  He  is  nothing  but 
love,  but  in  this,  that  while  we  were  ungodly, — 
sinners  and  enemies, — Christ  died  for  us.  "  Herein  is 
love,  not  that  we  loved  God,  but  that  God  loved  us, 
and  gave  his  Son  to  be  the  propitiation  for  our  sins." 
But  if  there  is  nothing  else  in  God  but  merciful- 
ness and  what  the  world  calls  "  love,"  why  was  it 
necessary  that  there  should  be  a  propitiation  for 
our  sins  ?  Therefore  you  find  that  all  the  New 
Testament  declarations  which  speak  of  the  love 
of  God  also  show  the  dark  background  of  the 
wrath  of  God  against  all  ungodliness,  and  of  our 
utterly  lost  condition  in  the  sight  of  God,  on  account 
of  the  justice  and  holiness  of  God.  Take  any 
passage  that  you  like — "  The  gift  of  God  is  eternal 
life."  "  Oh,"  everybody  would  say,  "  yes,  that 
sounds  beautiful."  But  what  precedes  it  ?  "  The 
wages  of  sin  is  death."  Why  are  the  wages  of  sin 
death  if  there  is  nothing  else  in  God  but  love  ? 
"  God  so  loved  the  world  that  he  gave  his  only 
begotten  Son  "  (oh,  that  is  beautiful)  "  that  whosoever 
believeth    in    him    should    not   pcris/i.'"       But    why 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  173 

should  anybody  perish  with  Christ,  or  without 
Christ,  unless  it  be  that  God  in  His  holiness  turns 
away  from  sin,  and  that  the  very  love  of  God  reacts 
against  sin,  and  that  God  is  a  consuming  fire  against 
it  ?  Therefore  the  very  point  which  is  the  excellence 
of  the  New  Testament,  namely,  the  atonement,  the 
sacrifice  of  Christ  on  the  cross,  cannot  be  under- 
stood at  all,  except  on  the  basis  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment teaching  as  to  the  character  of  God — namely, 
that  God  must  punish  sin,  and  that  the  wrath  of 
God  is  the  great  obstacle,  which  stands  between 
fallen  sinners  and  blessedness  and  communion  with 
Him.  And  thus  it  is  that  the  expression,  "  The 
wrath  of  God,"  which  is  so  obnoxious  to  this  nine- 
teenth century,  and  on  account  of  which  they  feel 
so  estranged  from  the  Old  Testament,  is  a  leading 
idea  in  the  New  Testament  from  'the  beginning. 
What  did  John  the  Baptist  preach  ?  Wrath  against 
evil.  What  is  declared  to  us  in  the  3rd  chapter  of  the 
gospel  of  John  ?  "  He  that  believeth  on  the  Son 
of  God  hath  eternal  life  ;  but  he  that  believeth  not 
the  Son  shall  not  see  life,  but  the  wrath  of  God 
abideth  on  him."  What  does  the  apostle  Paul  write 
to  the  Thessalonians  ?  "  You  are  waiting  for  the 
coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus  from  heaven,  even  Jesus, 
who  delivered  us  from  the  wrath  to  come."  And 
what  is  the  whole  meaning  of  the  book  of  Revela- 
tion but  this — that  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  at  last  is 
revealed  in  order  to  take  to  Himself  those  who 
trust  in  Him,  while  the  judgment  of  God  must  be 
executed  on  those  who  have  despised  the  Gospel. 
Therefore  the  Old  Testament  conception  of  God  is 
the  very  basis  and  foundation,  on  which  the 
wonderful  love  of  God  in  the  sacrifice  of  Jesus  shines 


174        ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

forth  in  the  New  Testament.  If  Christ  crucified  is 
the  centre  of  the  New  Testament, — if,  there,  the  love 
of  God  shines  forth  most  brightly, — then  the  cross 
of  Christ  is  misunderstood  and  misinterpreted  (and 
so  it  is  in  fact)  by  all  those  who  reject  the  Old 
Testament  idea  of  God,  and  the  atonement  is  made 
to  be  nothing  else  but  a  manifestation  of  God's  love 
(wherein  it  consists  I  do  not  see),  and  a  death  of 
witness  and  of  martyrdom  unto  the  truth  of  God. 

The  only  difference  between  the  Old  Testament 
and  the  New  Testament  is  this — that  the  arrange- 
ment of  subjects  is  different.  The  Old  Testa- 
ment puts  it  in  this  way,  "  God  is  holy  ;  you  are 
sinful  ;  therefore  the  wrath  of  God  is  upon  you. 
Oh  that  the  Redeemer  would  come  to  deliver  you." 
The  New  Testament  puts  it  in  this  way.  "He  has 
come  ;  He  has  redeemed  you.  Now  understand 
how  holy  God  is  who  could  not  save  you  except 
through  the  blood  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  now  under- 
stand how  great  and  evil  a  thing  sin  is,  that  it 
required  the  stupendous  sacrifice  of  God's  own  Son 
to  remove  it."  But  the  character  of  God  is  the 
same  throughout. 

There  is  another  point  which  strikes  people,  and 
it  is  this.  In  the  Old  Testament  we  read  of 
judgment  upon  judgment,  of  God.  Adam  and  Eve 
are  banished  out  of  Paradise,  and  the  earth  cursed 
on  account  of  their  transgression  ;  then  comes  the 
judgment  of  the  Flood  ;  then  comes  the  judgment 
on  the  Tower  of  Babel ;  then  come  the  repeated 
judgments  on  the  Egyptians  and  on  the  enemies  of 
Israel,  and  a  great  many  on  Israel  itself, — and  people 
think  that  the  Old  Testament  God  is  the  God  of 
judgments,  and  so  He   is  ;   but  the  reason  of  this  is 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  175 

exactly  the  opposite  of  what  they  imagine.  The 
reason  of  it  is  the  mercy  of  God.  God,  who  had 
Christ  always  before  Him  from  the  beginning  of  the 
world  did  not  wish  that  the  history  of  the  apostate 
race  should  come  to  an  end.  He  desired  to  post- 
pone the  last  judgment  as  long  as  possible,  and  there- 
fore He  sent  these  preliminary  judgments,  in  order 
to  make  it  possible  for  Him  to  carry  on  the  history  of 
mankind.  Adam  and  Eve  could  not  have  remained 
in  Paradise.  It  would  have  been  an  end  of  all 
history.  The  human  race  could  not  have  continued 
in  the  days  of  Noah,  but  God  wished  to  continue  it, 
and  therefore  there  came  a  judgment,  and  out  of 
that  judgment  the  nucleus  of  a  new  development  in 
Noah  and  his  household.  All  the  judgments  are  sent, 
in  order,  as  it  were,  to  make  it  possible  for  God  to 
continue  the  dealings  of  His  mercy; 

In  the  New  Testament  we  have  the  same 
principle,  only  the  order  of  things  is  different. 
There  |  what  God  says  is  this,  There  is  now  before 
you  a  clear  space,  a  long  period  in  which  there  is  an 
amnesty.  There  will  not  be  judgments,  but  the  de- 
claration that  God  is  reconciling  the  world  unto  Him- 
self in  Christ  Jesus — nothing  but  pardon,  nothing  but 
grace.  It  is  the  acceptable  year  of  the  Lord.  But 
the  judgment  is  to  come  at  the  end! — the  judgment  is 
at  the  end  !  Of  how  much  sorer  punishment  shall  they 
be  thought  worthy  who  reject  this  great  salvation  of 
God.  They  who  do  not  accept  the  Gospel  invitation 
are  treasuring  up  to  themselves,  as  the  apostle  Paul 
says  in  the  New  Testament,  not  in  the  Old,  wrath 
against  the  day  of  wrath.  Therefore  just  as  in  the 
Old  Testament  God  is  a  God  of  judgment,  because 
He  wishes  to  postpone  the   final   judgment,   in   the 


176        ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  TILE 

New  Testament  we  have  revealed  to  us  the  amnesty 
and  the  time  of  the  gospel  dispensation — not  because 
God  is  not  a  God  of  judgment,  but  because  He  hath 
appointed  a  day  in  the  which  He  shall  judge  all 
nations  through  that  one  Man  whom  He  raised 
from  the  dead.  So  you  see  that  the  same  elements 
are  in  the  New  as  in  the  Old  Testament. 

Now  I  must  go  still  further.  Believe  me,  I  do 
not  want  to  utter  a  paradox,  but  I  declare  the  simple 
truth.  As  there  are  in  the  Old  Testament  most 
wonderful  expressions  of  the  loving-kindness,  the 
tenderness,  of  Jehovah  God,  such  as  shine  forth,  with 
most  extraordinary  brilliancy  and  sweetness,  even 
after  the  New  Testament  revelation — "  I  will  abun- 
dantly pardon,"  "With  the  Lord  there  is  plenteous 
redemption,"  "  Can  a  woman  forget  her  child  ? " 
"  The  mountains  shall  be  parted,  the  hills  be 
removed,  but  my  thoughts  of  peace  towards  you 
cannot  be  removed,"  "  How  shall  I  give  thee  up,  O 
Ephraim  ?  Why  will  ye  die  ?  "  "  With  the  Lord 
our  God  there  is  forgiveness  that  he  may  be  feared," 
"  Ho,  every  one  that  thirsteth,  come  ye  to  the 
waters," — so  there  are  in  the  New  Testament  all  the 
fearful  declarations  of  the  Old  Testament,  as  I  have 
already  proved ;  but  the  New  Testament  severity  is 
far  greater  than  that  of  the  Old  Testament. 

And  why  is  that  ?  For  the  simple  reason  that 
now  the  fulness  of  truth  has  come  in  Christ  Jesus. 
God  in  the  Old  Testament  did  declare  to  Israel  what 
a  great  evil  sin  was,  but  He  never  could  tell  them 
what  He  has  told  us, — by  Christ.  God  could  not  say 
to  Israel,  "  Sin  is  this — that  you  would  like  me  not 
to  exist :  you  would  like  to  kill  me."  Such  a  severe 
arraignment  of  the  sinner  was  never  made    in   the 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  177 

Old  Testament ;  but  when  men  crucified  Jesus,  then 
sin  in  its  true  character  came  to  Hght.  You  never 
find  in  the  Old  Testament  such  a  severe  saying  as 
this — that  sin  is  enmity  against  God.  Why  then, 
do  people  not  say  that  the  New  Testament  is  too 
severe  for  them  to  endure  it  ?  Why  do  they  single 
out,  in  their  ignorance,  the  Old  Testament  ?  Why 
do  they  not  tremble  at  the  New  Testament  ?  Not 
merely  is  the  infinite  evil  of  sin  described  in  the 
New  Testament  as  it  never  could  have  been  in  the 
Old  Testament,  but  it  is  not  from  the  Old  Testament 
pages,  but  from  the  lips  of  Jesus  and  the  words  of 
the  apostles,  that  we  learn  what  hell  is,  where  "  their 
worm  dieth  not,  and  the  fire  is  not  quenched." 

The  Old  Testament  and  the  New  Testament 
both  combine  in  declaring  to  us  God.  "  God  is 
love  "  must  be  written  over  both,  with  this  distinction  : 
What  is  God  ?  The  Old  Testament  answers  that 
question.  But  what  is  love  ?  The  New  Testament 
answers  that  question.  Unless  you  know  the  Old 
Testament  when  you  read  "  God  is  love,"  and  do 
not  know  what  God  is, — the  sentence  has  no  value 
or  meaning  to  you.  In  the  New  Testament, 
the  whole  depths  of  the  eternal  counsel  and  the 
light  and  love  of  God,  are  made  manifest  ;  and  we 
see  now  what  wonderful  obstacles,  what  mountains, 
what  huge  difficulties  were  removed,  through  the 
stupendous  sacrifice  when  God  spared  not  His 
own  Son  but  gave  Him  up  unto  death.  What 
death? — the  just  for  the  unjust,  bearing  the  wrath 
of  God  and  tasting  death,  in  its  penal  connection 
with  sin. 

Jesus  Christ  is  the  interpretation  of  God,  but 
if   you    misinterpret    Him,  how    fatal    will    be   that 

N 


178        ALLEGED  DLSCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

misinterpretation, — and  all  misinterpret  Christ  and 
the  New  Testament  who  do  not  take  Christ  and 
the  New  Testament,  according  to  the  light  which 
God  has  given  through  Moses  and  the  prophets. 
And  therefore  it  is  that  Jesus  cannot  say  to  this 
generation  what  He  was  able  to  say  to  His  con- 
temporaries, "  Ye  believe  in  God  "  as  He  is  revealed 
in  the  Old  Testament  ;  "  believe  also  in  me."  And 
the  apostle  Paul  in  his  epistle  to  the  Hebrews  tells 
us  most  distinctly,  "  God,  who  at  sundry  times  and 
in  divers  manners,  spake  unto  the  fathers  by  the 
prophets,  hath  in  these  last  times  spoken  to  us  by 
his  Son." 

I  pass  now  to  the  second  point.  The  second 
point  is  this  :  In  the  New  Testament  God  does  not 
deal  with  nations  but  with  individuals.  He  makes 
no  difference  between  one  nation  and  the  other.  He 
addresses  Himself  to  the  individual.  In  the  Old 
Testament  we  have  the  history  of  a  nation,  and 
therefore  there  are  in  the  Old  Testament  a  number 
of  things  which  are  difficult  to  understand.  When 
God  chose  a  nation,  whom  He  formed  for  Himself 
from  its  very  beginning,  He  acted  with  the  greatest 
condescension,  for  now  God  had  not  to  take  cognis- 
ance merely  of  that  which  was  mental  and  spiritual 
and  individual,  but  of  everything  which  referred 
to  a  nation's  life — of  their  food  and  raiment  and 
property,  and  all  that  concerns  their  social  life. 
And  as  they  were  not  an  isolated  nation,  but  a  nation 
that  had  relationship  with  other  nations,  all  those 
difficulties  and  problems  that  meet  us  in  the  history 
of  the  world  are  here  brought  under  the  direct 
cognisance  and  superintendence  of  God.  We  are 
astonished  at  war,  at  its  cruelty,  at  the  apparently 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  179 


innocent  and  purposeless  sufferings  which  it  entails, 
— and  yet  we  know  that  God  permits  wars,  and 
that  wars  have  been  the  turning-points  in  history, 
and  have  often  introduced  great  blessings.  And 
thus  when  we  come  to  Israel  they  have  their 
wars,  they  have  their  soldiers.  There  are  to  be 
considered  the  peculiar  circumstances  and  character- 
istics of  that  rough  and  cruel  age.  There  we  find 
the  divine  justification.  The  nations,  who  inhabited 
the  land  of  Canaan,  had  filled  up  the  measure  of 
iniquity,  and  those  who  have  read  the  history 
know  that  their  lives  were  most  pernicious,  and  that 
the  abominations  and  cruelties  of  those  nations  were 
something  appalling,  and  therefore  God  in  His  justice 
had  to  deal  with  them,  for  the  good  of  Israel  and  the 
world.  In  all  this  there  may  be,  many  things  that 
are  difficult  for  us  to  understand,  that  pain  us,  that 
shock  us, — even  as  in  the  current  history  of  the  world 
there  are  many  such  startling  problems. 

Another  difficulty  is  that  the  Old  Testament 
condescends  to  all  the  questions  of  a  nation's  life 
— the  questions  of  property  and  all  that  is  associated 
with  this  earthly  condition; — to  the  government  of  a 
nation,  to  the  well-being  of  a  nation,  and  all  those 
evils  and  difficulties  that  are  connected  with  national 
life.  The  adaptation  and  accommodation  of  God  to 
the  weakness  and  sinfulness  of  that  particular  age, 
having  to  deal  with  the  facts  as  they  existed, — His 
permission  of  polygamy,  and  His  permission  and 
modification  of  slavery — all  these  stagger  people. 
But  why  ?  Because  they  do  not  see  the  purpose 
that  God  had  in  them.  It  was  necessary  that -there 
should  be  a  nation  out  of  which  there  should  arise 
Jesus  for  all  nations.      This  nation  was  chosen   for 


i8o        ALLEGED  DLSCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

the  benefit  of  all  mankind  and  all  families  of  the 
earth.  Neither  when  God  chose  this  nation,  did  He 
intend  to  deal  with  them  as  with  favourites,  but  rather 
to  deal  with  them  with  greater  judgment  and  severity 
than  with  the  other  nations.  Because  He  had 
chosen  them,  therefore  He  educated  them  and  chas- 
tised them,  and  brought  them  under  the  influence 
of  His  holiness  and  His  justice.  This  nation  was 
not  merely  for  a  time.  There  is  no  new  covenant 
nation  of  God.  In  the  new  covenant  there  are  the 
children  of  God  scattered  abroad, — all  of  them  brought 
to  Jesus.  There  is  the  flock  of  Christ,  the  Church, 
the  body  of  Christ  ;  but  there  is  no  nation  that 
is  God's  nation  in  the  New  Testament  God  has 
only  one  nation  —  Israel  ;  because  when  He  means 
to  revive  His  direct  dealings  with  the  world, 
and  to  renew  His  direct  governmental  manifes- 
tation and  acts  in  the  world.  He  has  no  other 
medium,  by  which  to  benefit  the  other  nations,  than 
the  nation  of  Israel.  Therefore  there  can  be  no 
beginning  of  the  millennial  age  except  through  the 
ingathering  of  the  people  of  Israel.  In  the  light  of 
the  future,  will  the  past  be  explained. 

People  think  when  they  call  the  Jews  God's 
"  ancient "  people  that  they  are  making  a  great 
concession.  They  are  not  God's  ancient  people. 
They  are  His  present  people  ;  they  are  His  future 
people ;  they  are  His  everlasting  people  ;  they  are 
His  only  people.  What  does  the  apostle  Paul  say  ? 
"Hath  God  cast  away  His  people?"  —  not  His 
"ancient"  people.  If  it  were  "ancient"  people  He 
had  cast  them  away,  because  they  were  of  the  past. 
"Hath  God  cast  away  His  people?  God  forbid!" 
he  says,  as  if  it  were  a  blasphemy  to  suppose  so.      Let 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS 


this  be  noted.  Thus  is  this  national  history  of  Israel 
explained.  But,  in  the  meantime,  what  a  benefit  has 
it  been  to  all  the  nations.  While  we  have  not  got 
in  the  New  Testament  the  principles  that  ought  to 
guide  kings,  and  rulers,  and  judges,  the  social  diffi- 
culties of  poor  and  rich — all  these  are  considered  in 
the  Old  Testament ;  and  there  we  have  the  laws  of 
God  as  to  national  life  and  all  that  pertains  to  it. 

The  third  difficulty.  There  are  some  people  who 
say,  "  It  is  a  strange  thing  that  in  the  Old  Testa- 
ment there  seems  to  be  only  a  present-day  religion. 
The  rewards  promised  are  earthly ;  the  punishments 
threatened  are  temporal.  The  future  seems  alto- 
gether dark  and  vague.  In  the  Psalms  and 
Prophets  it  seems  as  if  they  were  afraid  to  die,  and 
as  if  the  future  were  dark  to  them."  On  this  question 
of  the  gradual  revelation  of  the  future  I  do  not  enter 
now,  but  I  will  say  this  :  it  is  a  very  true  character- 
istic of  the  Old  Testament,  and  full  of  instruction, 
and  the  instruction  lies  in  this,  that  God  taught  the 
people,  and  God  teaches  us,  by  this  : — Eternal  life 
means  spiritual  life.  It  is  not  a  future  life, — and  the 
question  of  how  long  it  will  last  has  nothing  to  do 
with  the  essence  of  God.  "  Walk  before  me  in  the 
sunshine  of  my  favour,  and  then  you  please  me,  and  I 
am  your  God."  Whereas  the  Egyptians  were  always 
dreaming  and  speculating  about  immortality  and 
about  the  future,  and  how  to  secure  for  themselves 
a  future  existence, — being  all  the  time  in  darkness 
and  bondage.  God  said  to  the  Israelites,  "  I  Am. 
Love  me  and  serve  me."  It  is  quite  true  that  God 
promised  to  the  Jews  temporal  prosperity  if  they 
would  obey  Him,  and  that  He  threatened  them  with 
judgments    in    case   of   disobedience.       God   wished 


i82        ALLEGED  DLSCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

thereby  to  help  our  weakness,  and  to  incite  and 
encourage  the  people  to  walk  in  His  ways,  as  we 
propose  rewards  to  children.^  Lord  Bacon  has  said 
"  The  Old  Testament  is  the  religion  of  prosperity 
and  the  New  Testament  is  the  religion  of  adversity." 
There  is  a  truth  in  this,  but  a  truth  that  requires  to 
be  very  carefully  guarded.  There  are  two  things  to 
modify  it.  In  the  first  place  it  was  only  the  idea 
that  was  put  before  Israel,  not  the  reality.  God 
wished  to  teach  Israel  this  :  "  Although  this  is  a  bad 
fallen  world,  I  am  the  Ruler,  and  I  have  connected 
righteousness  with  happiness, — sin  with  misery.  This 
is  My  principle  in  all  realms  which  I  have  made," 
even  as  the  New  Testament  says  that  godliness  has 
the  promise  of  this  life  and  of  that  which  is  to 
come. 

But  was  it  so  always  among  the  Jews  ?  Were  not 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  strangers  and  pilgrims 
who  dwelt  in  tents  ?  Was  Moses  a  happy  and 
prosperous  man  ?  Was  David  not  a  man  acquainted 
with  grief  and  with  sorrow  ?  Had  not  all  the  godly 
men  in  Israel,  in  proportion  as  they  were  godly,  to 
pass  through  much  tribulation  ?  "  Many  are  the 
afflictions  of  the  righteous.  "  Whom  the  Lord  loveth. 
He  chasteneth."  That  was  the  problem,  which  some- 
times was  a  great  difficulty  to  them,  and  they  had  to 
say  "  Fret  not  thyself  because  of  evil-doers,"  because 
of  the  ungodly  "  spreading  himself  like  a  green  bay- 
tree."  So  in  actual  experience  can  you  say  that 
when  individuals  served  God,  He  rewarded  them 
always  with  earthly  rewards  ?    What  is  more  striking 

^  This  is  universally  God's  method  with  nations,  because  they  have 
as  nations  no  future  existence,  and  all  rewards  and  punishments  must  be 
visited  on  earth. 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  183 

than  this.  The  book  of  Ecclesiastes  presents  to  us  a 
•  king,  honoured,  full  of  power  and  influence,  wealthy, 
intellectual,  artistic,  tasting  everything  that  this  world 
could  give,  and  he  says  "  It  is  all  vanity."  And  the 
book  of  Job  shows  us  a  man  who  suddenly,  in  one 
day,  was  bereaved  of  his  sons  and  daughters  and 
sheep  and  cattle  and  property,  and  he  said  "  Blessed 
be  the  name  of  the  Lord."  Is  that  an  earthly 
religion  ?  Is  that  a  carnal  religion  ?  That  is  the  one 
point. 

The  other  point  is  this.  One  reason  why 
God  in  the  Old  Testament  laid  so  much  stress 
upon  prosperity  following  obedience,  upon  judg- 
ment following  disobedience,  was,  that  it  is  His 
intention  to  bring  about  a  state  of  the  world,  when 
there  shall  be  righteousness,  truth,  and  godliness 
within,  and  when  there  shall  be  no  evil  without,  but 
peace  and  abundance  for  the  poor  and  considerateness 
and  equity  for  all  men,  and  when  justice  and  beauty 
shall  be  established  here,  and  the  will  of  God  shall 
be  done  upon  earth  even  as  it  is  in  heaven.  And 
therefore  all  this  earthly  character  of  the  Old  Testa- 
ment is  prophetic  of  the  millennium,  of  that  future 
condition  which  shall  be  brought  about, — not  as  the 
Utopian  people  imagine,  that  the  world  is  getting 
gradually  better  and  happier,  and  that  they  will  be 
able  to  do  away  with  poverty,  crime,  injustice, 
cruelty,  sickness  and  pestilence  and  war  —  but 
by  the  coming  of  Jehovah  in  the  person  of  Jesus 
Himself  to  establish  the  kingdom.  As  it  is  written 
in  the  72nd  Psalm,  when  the  true  Son  of  David  shall 
come  then  there  shall  be  bread  for  the  poor,  and 
then  there  shall  be  the  manifestation  of  God's  bounti- 
fulness  and  loving-kindness  over  the  whole  earth. 


1 84        ALLEGED  DLSCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

There  is  a  fourth  difficulty.  People  say  "  The 
saints  in  the  Old  Testament  are  so  vindictive.  They 
ask  God  to  send  down  judgment  upon  His 
enemies.  They  seem  to  contemplate  the  destruction 
of  the  ungodly,  nay,  to  wish  for  it,  and  to  pray  for  it. 
That  is  not  a  spirit  that  we  admire,  nor  is  it  the  spirit 
of  the  New  Testament."  Now  this  question  has 
been  attempted  to  be  solved  in  different  ways. 
Some  have  said  "  Yes,  it  was  wrong  in  them, 
but  it  is  recorded  because  it  was  so.  They  had 
these  feelings,  but  they  were  wrong."  This  is  no 
answer  at  all,  because  all  these  expressions  to 
which  I  have  alluded  are  embedded  in  psalms  and 
chapters  in  which  the  highest  spirituality  expressed 
itself — faith  in  God,  love  to  God,  hope  in  His  Word, 
devotedness  to  His  cause  ;  and  moreover  they  are 
embedded  in  prophecies  which  Christ  has  taken  to 
Himself  The  three  psalms  that  are  apparently  most 
vindictive  are  psalms  that  are  quoted  by  our  Lord 
when  He  said,  "  They  hated  me  without  a  cause," 
"  He  that  eateth  bread  with  me  hath  lifted  up  his 
heel  against  me,"  "  They  gave  me  vinegar  to  drink  "  ; 
and  by  the  apostle  Peter,  when  he  speaks  of  the 
judgment  that  has  come  upon  Judas.  Therefore 
these  feelings  are  ratified  in  the  New  Testament,  as 
feelings  in  harmony  with  all  that  the  Spirit  of  God 
had  wrought  in  these  saints. 

A  second  explanation  is  this — that  it  was  only 
under  the  Old  Testament  dispensation  that  there 
could  be  allowance  made  for  these  feelings,  but  that 
they  have  disappeared  and  there  is  nothing  in  the 
New  Testament  to  correspond  with  them.  This  also 
is  a  false  answer.  If  that  is  so,  the  Old  Testament 
is  not  the  Word  of  God  as  the  New  Testament  is. 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  1S5 

and  the  God  of  the  Old  Testament  is  different  from 
the  God  of  the  New  Testament.  Therefore  we 
must  consider  the  question  in  a  more  cahn  and 
candid  way. 

The  first  question  is  this — What  is  the  teaching  of 
the  Old  Testament  as  regards  our  relation  and  our 
duties  to  our  enemies  ?  because  after  all  that  is  the 
point.  I  give  a  very  simple  answer.  When  the 
apostle  Paul,  in  the  epistle  to  the  Romans,  speaks  on 
this  subject,  he  does  not  know  any  better,  higher,  more 
perfect  commandment  than  that  which  is  given  in 
the  Old  Testament,  "  If  thine  enemy  hunger,  feed  him  ; 
if  he  thirst,  give  him  drink."  He  quotes  from  the 
Old  Testament  what,  those  people  say,  is  not  in  the 
Old  Testament,  and  is  peculiar  to  the  New  Testa- 
ment. From  the  very  beginning  God  taught  Israel 
that  they  were  not  to  be  vindictive,  that  vengeance 
was  His.  "  If  thou  meet  thine  enemy's  ox  or  his 
ass  going  astray,  thou  shalt  surely  bring  it  back  to 
him  again.  If  thou  see  the  ass  of  him  that  hateth 
thee  lying  under  his  burden  and  wouldest  forbear  to 
help  him,  thou  shalt  surely  help  him."  And  there 
are  many  passages  in  the  book  of  Proverbs  where 
we  are  warned  not  to  be  pleased  when  they  that  hate 
us  stumble.  Therefore  the  idea  that  we  are  to  for- 
give and  that  we  are  even  to  help  our  enemies,  was 
commanded  in  the  Word  of  God  by  Moses,  and  was 
well  understood  by  all  the  Old  Testament  saints. 

Again,  you  remember  those  passages  in  the  book 
of  Job  and  in  the  Psalms  of  David,  where  these  saints 
of  God,  arguing  with  God  and  pleading  with  Him, 
are  able  to  bear  this  witness  to  themselves  :  "  We 
have  never  done  harm  to  those  that  did  no  harm  to 
us.      On  the  contrary,  even  when  our  enemies  were  in 


i86        ALLEGED  DLSCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

distress,  we  went  to  their  help  and  their  succour." 
Only  remember  the  way  in  which  David  treated  Saul, 
who  was  his  most  bitter  enemy  without  any  cause, 
when  he  was  in  his  power  in  the  cave  ;  and  remem- 
ber that  triumph  of  the  forgiveness  of  injuries,  when, 
after  the  death  of  Saul,  David  poured  forth  that 
magnificent  elegy.  The  wonder  is,  how  he  collected 
together  so  many  bright  and  beautiful  features  in 
the  character  of  one  in  whom  there  was  so  much  to 
blame.  Here  there  was  an  illustration,  such  as  the 
world  had  never  before  had,  of  the  maxim  "  Do  not 
speak  of  the  dead,  except  what  is  good  and  favourable." 
Now  when  we  find  this  spirit,  the  question  is.  How  are 
we  to  account  for  those  passages  in  which  David  im- 
plores the  judgment  of  God  upon  his  enemies  ?  What 
was  the  motive  ?  It  was  not  a  personal  motive,  but 
this  was  the  motive — the  glory  of  God,  the  establish- 
ment of  God's  kingdom,  the  manifestation  to  the 
whole  world  that  there  is  a  righteous  God  and  that 
He  judgeth,  the  preservation  of  God's  chosen  people 
for  His  honour,  and  the  preservation  of  those  things 
which  God  had  entrusted  to  His  nation — His  Word, 
and  the  knowledge  of  His  name.  It  was  for  this  reason 
that  they  implored  the  judgments  of  God  to  come 
upon  those  whose  enmity  was  implacable,  and  whose 
resistance  and  violence  against  God,  and  God's  people, 
there  was  no  hope  of  conciliating,  for  there  are  other 
passages  in  which  David  calls  upon  the  nations  to 
consider  the  judgments  of  God  and  to  turn  to  Him, 
ere  it  be  too  late.  Many  of  those  passages  are  pro- 
phetical, for  God  promises  that  He  will  judge  and 
establish  His  kingdom  ;  and  being  given  in  the  spirit 
of  prophecy  there  is  nothing  else  but  an  assent  of  the 
believer  to  the  purposes  of  God.      So  in  the  book  of 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  187 

Isaiah,  it  is  said  that  on  Babylon,  which  was  the  cruel 
enemy  of  God's  people,  and  which  in  the  future  should 
appear  again  as  the  great  anti-Christian  power, seeking 
to  destroy  God's  people  and  to  root  out  the  truth 
from  the  earth,  there  would  be  judgments  from 
God,  and  that  the  little  children  should  be  dashed 
against  the  stones — that  is  to  say,  that  the  whole  race, 
root  and  branch,  should  be  exterminated  because  of 
the  evil  which  they  did  on  the  face  of  the  earth.  In 
poetical  language  this  is  reiterated,  as  Deborah  sang 
before,  "  So  let  all  thine  enemies  perish,  O  Lord ;  but 
let  them  that  love  Him  be  as  the  sun  when  he  goeth 
forth  in  his  might."  When  the  prophets  and  psalmists 
uttered  these  sayings,  was  there  no  mixture  of  earthly 
passion  with  them  ?  No.  David,  we  know,  was  of 
like  passions  with  us — that  he  was  indignant,  that  he 
was  vehement,  that  he  was  carried  away.  So  you 
remember  in  that  beautiful  passage,  when  he  had 
gone  against  Nabal  to  punish  Nabal  on  account  of 
his  behaviour  to  his  followers,  and  Abigail  came  and 
pleaded  with  him,  and  David  burst  forth  with  such 
humility,  saying,  "  Blessed  be  the  Lord  God  of  Israel, 
who  sent  thee  this  day  to  meet  me  :  and  blessed  be 
thy  advice,  and  blessed  be  thou,  which  hast  kept  me 
this  day  from  coming  to  shed  blood,  and  from 
avenging  myself  with  my  own  hand."  He  knew 
very  well  what  was  of  the  earth  earthy,  and  what 
was  the  inspiration  of  God. 

Is  there  nothing  corresponding  to  this  in  the 
New  Testament  ?  That  is  the  question.  There 
certainly  is,  only  in  the  New  Testament  the  judg- 
ment is  placed  at  a  distance.  Thus  Jesus  says, 
"  Woe  unto  thee,  Capernaum,  which  art  exalted 
unto  heaven,  thou  shalt  be  brought  down  to  hell  ;  " 


i88        ALLEGED  DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE 

and  to  the  scribes  and  Pharisees  He  says  "  Woe " 
again .  and  again  ;  "  Ye  serpents,  ye  generation  of 
vipers,  how  can  ye  escape  the  damnation  of  hell  ?  " 
and  the  apostle  Paul  says,  "  Alexander  the  copper- 
smith hath  done  me  much  harm.  The  Lord  reward 
him  according  to  his  doings."  In  the  book  of  Reve- 
lation, the  Lord  Jesus  praises  the  Church,  "  This  good 
thing  thou  hast,  that  thou  hatest  the  Nicolaitanes  " — 
not  the  heresy,  but  the  men^ — "  whom  I  also  hate  "  ! 
And  when  the  judgments  are  described  in  the  book 
of  Revelation — those  fearful  judgments  which  it  is 
difficult  for  us  to  read  without  awe  and  trembling — 
what  is  the  feeling  which  those  judgments  call  forth, 
not  in  Jews,  as  they  are  called,  carnal  Jews,  but  in 
the  holy  and  loving  angels  ?  "  Fear  God,  and  give 
glory  to  him,  for  the  hour  of  his  judgment  is 
come."  "  Thou  art  righteous,  O  Lord,  which  art, 
and  wast,  and  shalt  be,  because  thou  hast  judged 
thus.  For  they  have  shed  the  blood  of  saints  and 
prophets,  and  thou  hast  given  them  blood  to  drink  ; 
for  they  are  worthy.  Even  so.  Lord  God  Almighty, 
true  and  righteous  are  thy  judgments  ; "  and  in 
another  chapter,  "  For  her  sins  have  reached  unto 
heaven,  and  God  hath  remembered  her  iniquities. 
Reward  her  even  as  she  rewarded  you,  and  double 
unto  her  double  according  to  her  works :  in  the 
cup  which  she  hath  filled,  fill  to  her  double." 

The  dispensations  were  different.  God  is  the 
same  ;  and  the  lesson  to  us  who  are  living  in  this 
present  age,  is  to  remember  the  glory  of  God,  and 
the  one  great  aim  of  all  His  dealings,  namely,  to  show 
forth  His  praise,  and  to  establish  upon  the  earth  His 
kingdom,  in  righteousness  and  peace  and  love,  which 
will   bring  happiness  to  all  the  nations  of  the  world. 


OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  189 

There  is  a  very  striking  confirmation  of  this  in  the 
104th  Psalm.  The  104th  Psalm  is  an  echo  of  the 
1st  chapter  of  Genesis.  The  ist  chapter  of  Genesis 
gives  us  the  creation  of  the  world,  beginning  with 
the  creation  of  light,  and  ending  with  the  creation 
of  men,  and  it  sums  up  everything  and  says,  "  It  is 
all  very  good."  David  in  the  1 04th  Psalm  responds 
to  this,  and  he  describes  all  the  universe,  so  to  speak, 
beginning  with  God,  who  clothes  Himself  with  light 
as  with  a  garment,  and  ending  with  man,  who  goeth 
forth  to  his  work  and  to  his  labour  till  the  evening. 
This  fills  him  with  great  joy,  so  he  concludes  in  the 
33rd  verse,  "I  will  sing  unto  the  Lord  as  long 
as  I  live  ;  I  will  sing  praise  to  my  God  while  I  have 
my  being.  My  meditation  of  Him  shall  be  sweet : 
I  will  be  glad  in  the  Lord."  ,Now  there  comes  an 
abrupt  transition,  "  Let  the  sinners  be  consumed 
out  of  the  earth,  and  let  the  wicked  be  no  more."  I 
remember  when  this  first  struck  me,  I  was  staggered. 
Up  to  this  verse  he  shows  how  beautiful  the  world 
is,  and  how  good  God  is,  and  he  is  full  of  gratitude 
and  joy,  and  he  sings,  and  his  meditation  is  sweet,  and 
now  there  comes  this  thunder  and  lightning.  The  ex- 
planation is  this.  In  the  ist  chapter  of  Genesis,  before 
sin  has  entered,  all  is  very  good.  "  The  Lord  beheld, 
and  it  was  all  very  good."  And  now  this  beautiful 
universe  has  been  poisoned,  has  been  defiled,  and  the 
thoughts  of  God  frustrated  by  sin.  It  is  as  if  a 
great  artist  had  produced  a  wonderful  picture,  and 
then  some  one  comes  and  spoils  it  all,  and  mars  it. 
Then  David  wishes  for  the  restitution,  or  the  estab- 
lishment of  those  things  which  God  has  promised 
from  the  beginning  by  the  prophets,  namely,  the 
kingdom  of  Jesus  Christ  and    His  saints,  and  Israel, 


igo    DISCORDANCE  BETWEEN  THE  TESTAMENTS 

and  all  the  nations  upon  the  earth.  "  Let  the  sinners 
be  consumed  out  of  the  earth,  and  let  the  wicked 
be  no  more.  Bless  thou  the  Lord,  O  my  soul.  Praise 
ye  the  Lord,"  These  are  very  solemn  truths.  We 
should  never  think  of  them  without  awe,  without 
feeling  personally  humbled  to  the  very  dust,  without 
feelings  of  the  greatest  compassion  and  tenderness 
towards  those  that  are  without,  and  without  being 
stirred  up  to  pray  and  to  work  for  the  ingathering 
of  those  who  are  still  without  the  knowledge  of 
Christ.  Not  with  a  cold  heart,  or  a  dry  eye,  ought 
these  great  and  awful  things  to  be  viewed,  and  it  is 
for  us  to  cleave  unto  the  Lord  our  God,  and  to  seek 
His  glory  and  His  only. 


X 


THE  PERFECT  HARMONY  OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW 

TESTAMENTS 

Two  further  objections  to  Old  Testament  by  those  who  believe  in  the 
New  Testament — (5)  Old  Testament  miracles  —  Not  so  different 
from  those  of  the  New— Occurred  at  periods  of  great  importance 
when  something  new  to  be  ushered  in — Those  chiefly  doubted, 
ratified  by  Jesus  Christ :  as  Balaam,  Jonah,  etc. — ^Jesus'  miracles 
the  most  frequent  and  wonderful  of  all — Jewish  miracles  chiefly 
national — ^Jesus'  individual — (6)  The  sins  of  God's  people — Nothing 
shows  inspiration  more  clearly  than  the  faithfulness  in  depicting 
sins  of  the  servants  of  God — Rothe's  statement  on  this  subject — • 
Jonah's  description  of  his  own  sins — As  to  Reformation  two  defects 
— (i)  Did  not  distinguish  the  dispensations — (2)  Did  not  see  clearly 
the  important  position  of  the  Jews  in  the  economy  of  God  and  the 
second  advent  of  our  Lord — The  good  of  controversy  going  on  now 
that  it  obliges  Christians  to  read  the  whole  Scriptures — What  holds 
Old  and  New  Testaments  together — The  very  term  Old  and  New 
Testaments  objectionable — Gospel  everywhere — The  one  the  Book 
of  the  kingdom  ;  the  other  the  Book  of  the  Church — The  second 
advent  of  our  Lord  the  key  to  the  union — ^This  constantly  fore- 
told in  Old,  and  dwelt  on  in  New  Testament — That  triumphant 
part  of  Messiah's  mission  (foretold  in  Old  Testament)  yet  to  be 
fulfilled — The  Old  and  New  Testaments  coincide  in  the  descrip- 
tion of  the  glorious  appearing  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour. 

I  BROUGHT  before  you  in  the  last  lecture  a  few  of  those 
popular  objections  which  are  brought  against  the  Old 
Testament,  by  people  who  profess  to  have  faith  in  the 
New  Testament.  It  is  a  very  strange  thing  that 
there  are  not  a  few  who,  professing  to  believe  in  the 


192  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

scriptures  of  the  New  Testament,  regard  the  Old 
Testament  with  a  feeling  of  perplexity  and  doubt, 
not  to  say  of  antipathy  ;  and  the  objections  which 
are  brought  forward  by  them  against  the  Old  Testa- 
ment, I  endeavoured  to  show,  were  rooted  in  their 
insufficient  understanding  of  the  teaching  of  the  New 
Testament.  I  have  only  two  more  to  bring  before 
you  this  morning,  and  I  must  pass  over  them  rapidly, 
because  there  are  so  many  other  points  to  which  it 
is  necessary  to  allude,  in  connection  with  the  subject 
of  this  address. 

A  fifth  objection  which  is  brought  against  the 
Old  Testament  is  on  account  of  the  miracles  which 
it  contains.  This  objection  is  brought  forward  not 
by  people  who  doubt  the  miracles  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment— in  that  case  it  would  be  necessary  to  con- 
sider the  question  of  miracle  in  general  ;  but  these 
people  believe  the  miracles  that  Jesus  and  the 
apostles  wrought,  and  still  they  think  that  the 
miracles  of  the  Old  Testament  are  of  a  character 
that  makes  it  very  difficult  to  believe  in  their  actual 
occurrence — a  strange  objection  in  which  there  is  no 
reason,  in  which  there  is  only  a  kind  of  obscure  feel- 
ing and  antipathy  ;  for  if  we  compare  the  miracles  of 
the  Old  and  of  the  New  Testament,  we  shall  find 
that  their  character  is  the  same.  At  whatever 
period  of  the  world's  history  they  occurred,  they 
could  never  be  interpreted  or  accounted  for  by 
the  natural  law  of  things.  To  convert  water  into 
wine,  to  raise  the  dead,  to  open  the  eyes  of  one  that 
was  born  blind — all  these  things  are  evidently  what 
we  call  "  miracles." 

In  the  second  place,  so  great  is  the  similarity  be- 
tween the  Old  and  the  New  Testament  miracles  that 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEIV  TESTA/VEiVTS  193 

it  has  been  one  of  the  arguments  of  the  defenders  of 
the  mythical  theory  of  the  gospels,  that  it  was  evident 
that  the  authors  of  these  books  were  anxious  to 
show,  that  Christ  and  the  apostles  were  able  to  do 
the  same  wonderful  things,  which  Moses  and  the 
prophets  had  done,  and  that  therefore  as  there  was 
the  feeding  of  the  children  of  Israel  in  the  wilderness 
with  manna,  so  there  was  the  miraculous  feeding  of 
the  multitude  in  the  desert ;  and  as  there  was  the 
raising  up  of  the  dead  through  Elisha,  and  the  healing 
of  the  leper,  so  there  were  similar  miracles  recorded 
of  Christ  and  of  the  apostles. 

A  third  point  is  this.  People  are  under  the 
impression,  that  on  every  page  of  the  Old  Testament, 
there  is  some  wonderful  prodigy  which  entirely  stops 
the  course  of  nature,  and  which  disorders  the  natural 
development  of,  things.  They  say,  "  Arc  we  to 
believe  those  wonderful  stories  about  the  wife  of  Lot 
being  turned  into  a  pillar  of  salt,  about  the  Red 
Sea,  about  the  sun  standing  still,  about  the  whale 
and  Jonah,  and  so  on  ?  "  giving  you  the  impression 
that,  according  to  their  view,  the  Old  Testament  was 
a  series  of  prodigies.  Against  this  it  must  be  said 
very  simply,  that,  during  a  period  of  about  three  and 
twenty  years,  there  occurred  a  far  larger  number  of 
miracles  in  the  New  Testament  time  than  during  all 
the  centuries  of  Israel's  history.  During  the  three 
years  of  Christ's  earthly  ministry,  and  during  the 
twenty  years,  of  which  the  Acts  of  the  apostles  give 
us  a  record,  there  is  a  far  greater  number  of  miracles 
narrated,  than  in  the  whole  history  of  the  Old 
covenant  people,  through  many  centuries.  So  this 
objection  at  once  falls  to  the  ground. 

And  all  those  miracles,  that  are  recorded  in  the 
O 


194  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

old  history,  are  recorded  as  having  happened  in 
periods  of  great  importance,  and  of  transition,  when 
a  new  thing  had  to  be  ushered  in — when  Israel  had 
to  be  brought  out  of  Egypt,  when  they  had  to  be 
supported  in  the  wilderness,  when  they  had  to 
conquer  the  land  which  the  Lord  had  promised  to 
them,  and  again,  in  the  time  of  general  apostasy, 
when  they  had  adopted  the  worship  of  Baal  in  the 
times  of  Elijah  and  Elisha  ;  so  that  it  is  not  for 
the  love  of  prodigies,  that  these  miracles  are  intro- 
duced, but  as  acts  and  manifestations  of  a  living  God 
who  transacts  supernatural  events,  the  object  of  which 
is  His  glory,  and  the  salvation  of  mankind. 

Another  point  to  be  noticed  is  this,  that  all  these 
miracles,  which  form  the  stumbling-block  of  people 
in  the  Old  Testament,  are  ratified  by  Jesus  Christ 
and  by  the  apostles  ;  so  that  if  you  do  not  believe 
the  miracle  of  Jonah,  it  is  not  with  the  book  of 
Jonah  that  you  have  to  do,  but  with  our  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ  Himself;  or  if  you  do  not  believe  in 
the  Flood,  or  in  the  turning  of  Lot's  wife  into  a 
pillar  of  salt,  you  have  to  do  with  Jesus,  who  said, 
"  As  it  was  in  the  days  of  Noah,"  and  "  Remember 
Lot's  wife  "  ;  or  if  you  do  not  choose  to  believe  that 
Balaam's  ass  spoke,  you  have  to  do  with  the  apostle 
Peter,  who  mentions,  that  through  the  voice  of  an 
irrational  creature,  God  reproved  the  false  prophet. 
There  is  no  miracle  spoken  of  in  the  Old  Testament 
that  is  a  stumbling-block  to  the  present  generation, 
— that  has  not,  directly  or  indirectly,  been  ratified 
by  the  authority  of  our  divine  Lord  and  of  His  in- 
spired apostles.  But  to  do  perfect  justice,  as  it  is  our 
bounden  duty  to  do,  there  is  a  difference  between 
the  Old  Testament  miracles  and  the  New  Testament 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  195 

miracles, — and  this  difference  I  wish  to  point  out 
very  briefly. 

I  think  that  the  miracles  of  our  blessed  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ  stand  quite  by  themselves,  because  He 
is  both  God  and  man  ;  and  when  Jesus  performed 
miracles  He  was  able  to  say  truly,  as  recorded  in 
the  gospel  of  John,  "  If  I  had  not  done  such  works 
as  none  other  man  did  " — not  Moses;  nor  Elijah, 
nor  any  other  man, — for  out  of  that  which  was  in 
Him,  He,  the  Lord,  manifested  His  power.  In  the 
miracles  which  are  recorded  in  the  Old  Testament 
it  is  always  said  that  they  are  wrought,  that  Jehovah's 
glory,  not  the  glory  of  Moses,  might  be  made  mani- 
fest. But  when  Jesus  performs  miracles,  it  is  that 
the  glory  of  Jesus  may  be  made  manifest.  The 
miracles  of  our  blessed  Saviour  range  themselves 
under  these  several  aspects.  He  is  the  Mediator, 
the  Saviour,  the  Restorer.  All  things  are  under 
His  sway.  Nature — he  can  intensify  and  multiply 
nature  in  a  miraculous  way.  Thus  the  five  loaves  and 
two  fishes  are  sufficient  for  thousands.  The  water 
is  changed  into  wine.  And  He  can  conquer  the 
adverse  powers  of  nature,  so  that  He  rebukes  the 
winds,  and  the  waves  of  the  sea,  and  there  is  a 
great  calm.  As  He  is  the  Lord  of  nature,  so  He  is 
the  Saviour  and  Restorer  ;  therefore  He  changes 
disease  into  health.  He  has  the  power  over  death  ; 
therefore  He  is  able  to  raise  the  dead,  because  He  is 
the  resurrection  and  the  life.  And  He  is  the  Lord 
whom  all  angels  and  devils  must  obey.  Therefore 
He  is  able  to  drive  out,  and  to  banish,  the  servants 
of  Satan.  So  He  is  Lord  over  all, — Son  of  God  and 
yet  Son  of  Man. 

But    the    miracles    of  Jesus    Christ   and    of  His 


196  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

apostles,  have  all  reference  to  the  individual,  to 
salvation,  to  the  idea  of  redemption  and  restoration. 
The  Old  Testament,  as  I  explained  to  you  on  the 
last  occasion,  has  not  so  much  to  do  with  individuals, 
as  with  a  nation.  What  the  Old  Testament  history- 
sought  to  prove  was,  that  Jehovah  the  God  of  Israel 
is  the  true  God,  and  stronger  than  all  the  powers, 
in  which  the  nations  trust.  It  did  not  seek  to 
prove  that  Jehovah  pardons  the  sins  of  every  con- 
trite one,  and  is  able  to  renew  the  heart,  and  to 
restore  peace  unto  the  troubled.  It  sought  to  show 
that  the  God  of  the  nation  is  above  all  other  gods, 
that  Israel,  in  contrast  with  the  nations,  has  pre- 
eminence and  power  over  all  the  worldly  powers. 
Therefore  the  miracles  in  the  land  of  Egypt  had,  so 
to  speak,  a  cosmic  character.  They  were  to  show 
to  Pharaoh,  and  to  the  Egyptians  that  all  those 
natural  powers,  in  which  they  trusted,  were  under 
the  control  of  Jehovah.  Likewise  was  this  the  case 
with  the  miracles  wrought,  when,  under  Joshua,  Israel 
entered  into  the  land  of  Canaan.  They  were  meant 
to  show  the  Canaanitcs,  that  God  was  greater  than  the 
sun  and  the  moon,  and  greater  than  all  powers  in 
which  they  had  confidence.  So  the  miracles  of  the 
Old  Testament  have,  in  one  respect,  a  very  striking, 
if  I  may  so  speak,  stupendous,  anti-natural  character, 
because  they  relate  to  the  national  history  and  to  the 
manifestation  of  God,  as  the  God  of  the  nation,  versus 
all  the  other  nations  who  trust  in  gods  and  powers 
which  are  only  subordinate  or  altogether  non-existent. 
I  pass  on  now  to  the  last  point.  Many  people 
object  to  the  Old  Testament  because  the  sins  of  God's 
people — Jacob,  and  David,  and  Jonah,  etc. — are  there 
told  with  such  great  plainness,  that  it  is  difficult  for 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  197 

US  to  believe  that  men,  who  were  guilty  of  such  sins, 
should  continue  to  be  regarded,  as  the  favourites 
and  saints  of  God.  Now  this  is  an  objection  which 
is  of  great  importance.  Let  me  quote  the  remark- 
able utterance  of  one  of  the  greatest  speculative  theo- 
logians of  the  present  century, — the  great  authority 
on  questions  of  theological  ethics, — Professor  Rothe 
says,  "  The  opinion  which  has  been  so  often  as- 
serted in  modern  times  that  the  ethics  of  the  Bible 
do  not  reach  clearness  and  purity,  until  we  come 
to  the  New  Testament,  is  altogether  false.  The 
ethics  of  the  Old  Testament  and  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment are  perfectly  identical.  The  Spirit  of  God 
must  always  announce  the  same  principles.  The 
Old  Testament,"  he  says,  "  never  would  have  been 
written  except  it  had  been  for  the  intended  New 
Testament,  and  although  the  individual  saints,  who 
are  brought  before  us  in  the  Old  Testament,  did  not 
attain  to  the  idea  which  is  revealed,  the  revelation 
of  God  in  the  Old  Testament  concerning  ethics  is  a 
perfect  revelation." 

The  object  of  the  Bible  is  not  to  glorify  and 
eulogise  man,  but  to  glorify  God.  It  is  not  to  give 
us  ideal  pictures  of  human  characters.  We  are  very 
much  inclined  to  suppose  this,  and  people  arc  very 
ready  to  talk  of  a  "  holy  man,"  "  a  very  holy  man." 
There  is  no  degree  in  holiness.  A  holy  man  is  a 
sinner  saved,  who,  by  the  electing  love  and  power 
of  God,  is  brought  nigh  to  Him.  And,  there- 
fore, with  perfect  truthfulness,  the  Scripture  records 
the  great  sins  and  falls  of  God's  chosen  ones.  It 
wishes  to  impress  upon  us  that  all  is  by  grace, — 
that  it  was  not  on  account  of  some  natural  superiority 
of  character   that  God's  servants   were  chosen,  and 


198  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

that,  after  they  had  been  brought  to  the  knowledge 
and  the  fear  of  God,  it  was  only  grace  that  sustained 
them, — while  there  was  still  within  them,  even  to  the 
last,  that  other  law  striving  against  the  holy  will  of 
God.  But  when  Scripture  lays  bare  to  us  the 
sins  of  God's  saints,  with  perfect  truthfulness,  does 
it  approve  of  the  sins  of  God's  people  ?  Does  it 
represent  them  in  a  fascinating  and  seducing  light  ? 
Does  it  palliate  their  guilt  and  culpability  ?  Does 
it  not  show  to  us  that  God  condemned  the  sin,  and 
that  God  severely  chastised  each  one  of  His  saints 
who  fell  into  sin  ?  And  more  than  that.  The  world 
knows  about  the  sin  of  David,  but  does  the  world 
know  about  the  repentance  of  David, — how  deep  it 
was,  how  spiritual  it  was,  how  sincere  it  was,  how 
self-humiliating  it  was — so  that,  in  the  face  of  the 
whole  nation,  the  king  confessed  his  guilt  and  wrote 
those  Psalms,  the  51st  and  the  32nd,  in  which  he 
showed,  before  the  whole  world,  how  deeply  he  had 
fallen,  and  that  it  was  only  the  mercy  of  God  that 
had  restored  him  ?  You  know  well  regarding  Jonah 
who  was  disobedient  to  God,  and  ran  away  from  God, 
and  afterwards  murmured,  because  God  pardoned  the 
Ninevites,  and  because  the  gourd  was  dried  up  ? 
Do  you  ever  think  that  it  is  Jonah  himself  who  tells 
you  of  these  things  that  he  did  ?  It  is  the  power  of 
divine  grace,  which  restores  God's  people  after  they 
have  fallen  into  sin,  when  they  truly  repent.  God 
delights  in  His  people,  but  He  punishes  them  and 
rebukes  them  for  all  their  trespasses. 

But  the  root  of  the  objection,  which,  after  all,  I 
have  not  touched,  lies  in  what  I  have  already  ex- 
plained— the  importance  attached  in  this  age  to  what 
people  call  "  ethics  "  and  "  morality."    The  world  does 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  199 

not  know  the  difference  between  morality  and  godli- 
ness. Morality  is  a  very  good  and  excellent  thing, 
but  it  is  not  godliness.  Godliness  includes  morality. 
Morality  can  never  be  a  substitute  for  godliness. 
The  Bible  does  not  divide  the  human  race  into 
men  who  are  more  or  less  moral,  or  who  are  moral 
and  immoral  ;  but  the  Bible  divides  men  into  two 
classes — the  godly  and  the  ungodly,  the  regenerate 
and  the  unregenerate — those  who  belong  to  Christ's 
flock,  and  those  who  do  not  belong  to  Christ's 
flock.  And  therefore  it  is  that  you  will  find  so 
many  people  say, — what  they  ought  to  be  ashamed 
to  say, — that  they  like  Esau  better  than  Jacob, 
when  God  says  "  Jacob  have  I  loved  and  Esau 
have  I  hated."  And  why  do  they  like  Esau  better 
than  Jacob  ?  Because  they  do  not  understand  Jacob. 
They  see  a  few  blemishes  in  Jacob's  character  (who 
is  there  that  has  none?)  but  they  do  not  see  that 
the  whole  bent  of  the  man  was  Godward,  that  during 
all  his  life  he  was  walking  in  communion  with  God, 
and  that  the  prayer  which  he  uttered  on  his  death- 
bed, interrupting  the  prophetic  prediction  concerning 
the  twelve  tribes,  "  I  have  waited,  Jehovah,  for  Thy 
salvation,"  was  the  pulsation  of  the  man's  whole 
heart.  And  the  Pharisees  did  not  understand  why 
the  publicans  and  sinners  came  to  Jesus,  just  as  the 
elder  brother  did  not  understand,  why  there  was  so 
much  rejoicing  over  the  younger  son  who  had 
returned.  Thus  it  is,  that  men  who  do  not  know  the 
principle  of  grace,  and  who  do  not  know  the  corrup- 
tion of  their  own  hearts,  are  so  staggered  at  these 
narratives  of  the  fall  and  sins  of  God's  people. 

But    now  I   must  hasten  to  the   subject  that   is 
further  and  chiefly  to  occupy  us  to-day. 


THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 


In  my  first  lecture  I  showed  you  the  effect,  which 
had  been  produced  by  the  interpretation  of  the  Bible 
through  rationalism, — by  the  mythical  theory  which 
was  produced  by  pantheism, — by  that  atheism  which 
most  illogically  and  unnecessarily  has,  through  alleged 
results  of  science,  fortified  itself  in  want  of  faith  in 
the  living  God,  in  an  undue  exaltation  of  reason  as 
if  it  were  the  judge  of  revelation  or  needed  no  reve- 
lation, and  in  the  Pelagian  view  of  man  that  he  was 
not  so  sinful  as  to  require  an  expiation  or  so  corrupt 
as  to  require  regeneration,  and  in  the  idea  also  that 
the  world  will  improve  naturally, — not,  as  the  Bible 
tells  us,  through  the  judgments  and  direct  interfer- 
ence of  Jehovah. 

I  must  notice  some  defects  in  the  Reformation 
interpretation  of  Scripture,  and  what  is  generally 
called  the  evangelical  interpretation  of  Scripture, 
under  which  we  still  labour  to  our  great  disadvantage. 
The  Reformation  had  two  defects.  I  have  spoken 
at  great  length,  and  out  of  the  fulness  of  my  heart,  of 
the  glory  of  the  Reformation.  Let  me  point  out  now 
these  two  points  in  which  the  Reformers  were  defi- 
cient. In  the  first  place,  they  did  not  distinguish  the 
dispensations,  although  Augustine  had  already  said, 
"  Distinguish  the  times  and  all  difficulties  vanish." 
If  they  had  distinguished  the  dispensations  of  the 
kingdom,  and  of  the  Church,  they  never  could  have 
approved  of  Servetus  being  put  to  death  because  he 
was  heretical  on  the  doctrine  of  the  Trinity,  for  in 
the  Church,  in  the  family  of  God,  there  is  no  sword. 
The  sword  is  only  in  the  kingdom.  If  any  man 
deny  the  truth  as  it  is  in  Jesus,  he  certainly  ought 
not  to  be  a  minister  of  the  Church  or  a  member  of 
the    Church  ;    but    in    this  world   we    Christians,  as 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  201 

Christians,  have  no  rights ;  we  have  only  duties. 
In  the  second  place,  they  did  not  understand  clearly 
the  important  position  of  the  Jews  in  the  economy  of 
God,  nor  did  they  see  clearly  the  second  advent  of 
our  Lord.  Not  that  either  Luther  or  Calvin  held 
those  shallow  Pelagian  views,  so  common,  of  a 
gradual  amelioration  and  Christianising  of  the 
world.  Calvin  says,  "  It  is  a  superstition  to  think 
that  the  world  is  improving  in  religion  and  morality. 
It  is  not  improving,  but  it  is  always  going  back." 
Luther  says,  "  I  know  that  the  world  is  becoming 
epicurean, — that  is  to  say,  they  will  lose  faith  in  God 
and  immortality,  and  give  themselves  up  to  the  plea- 
sures of  the  things  of  this  world,  and,  then  suddenly, 
shall  be  heard  the  voice,  '  Behold  the  Bridegroom 
cometh.'"  But  still  they  did  not  see  clearly  the 
second  advent  of  our  Lord,  or  the  difference  between 
the  Church  dispensation  and  the  position  of  Israel, 
both  in  the  past  and  in  the  future  kingdom.  The 
error  which  was  made  subsequently  by  those  who 
preached  the  saving  truths  of  the  Gospel  was  this — 
that  they  thought  that  it  was  sufficient  to  preach 
personal  salvation,  man's  sinfulness,  the  atonement, 
the  renewal  by  the  Spirit,  the  fruits  of  the  Spirit — 
everything  that  referred  to  the  individual.  That  is 
the  centre,  but  all  the  circumference  they  left  out, — 
the  whole  counsel  of  God  as  it  is  revealed  in  Scripture, 
the  plan  of  God,  the  kingdom  of  God,  the  creation 
of  the  world,  the  creation  of  man,  the  unity  of  the 
human  race,  the  judgment  of  the  Tower  of  Babel, 
the  elective  dispensation  under  Israel,  in  its  contrast 
to  what  came  afterwards.  The  consequence  was 
that,  while  it  was  all  very  good  for  those,  who 
spiritually  and   experimentally  knew  about  sin  and 


THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 


salvation,  the  world  in  its  philosophy  and  in  its 
science  was  constantly  undermining  the  circum- 
ference, so  that  on  all  the  other  points,  on  which 
the  Bible  touches,  false  and  anti-Biblical  ideas  be- 
came current,  and  each  of  these  points  afforded  a 
position  from  which  to  attack  and  to  assail  the 
whole  Scripture. 

Now  this  is  one  important  thing  in  the  controversy 
which  is  going  on  at  present,  that  it  obliges  Christians 
to  read  the  whole  Scripture,  that  wc  cannot  limit 
ourselves  to  a  few  points,  which  bear  upon  personal 
revelation,  but  that  we  must  now  acknowledge  that 
God  has  taught  us  nothing  but  what  is  profitable, 
nay,  what  is  necessary.  What  people  generally 
call  "  edifying,"  by  which  they  mean  something  that 
touches  upon  their  feelings  or  upon  their  present 
course  of  action,  is  not  the  biblical  idea  of  "  edifying." 
The  biblical  idea  of  "  edifying  "  is  that  we  should  see 
the  character  of  God,  and  the  will  of  God,  and  that 
thus  we  should  be  built  up  in  our  most  holy  faith. 
It  is  as  if  I  were  to  begin  the  Lord's  Prayer  by 
saying  "  Give  us  this  day  our  daily  bread,"  and  to 
pray  for  bread  and  for  pardon  and  for  guidance  and 
for  deliverance,  and  to  forget  "  Hallowed  be  Thy 
name.  Thy  kingdom  come.  Thy  will  be  done  on 
earth  as  it  is  in  heaven."  These  are  the  things  in 
which  is  our  life,  and  from  which  emanate  all  the 
strength  and  the  guidance,  that  we  need,  for  our  daily 
conduct  and  our  daily  difficulties.  The  Old  Testa- 
ment, at  present,  is  the  great  battlefield,  and  it  is  a 
very  good  thing  that  it  is  so.  The  reasons  I  must 
reserve  for  my  next  address. 

I  wish  now  to  speak  about  the  Old  Testament 
in   its  distinction   from   the  New  Testament,  and  to 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  203 

ask  this  question,  "  What  is  the  leading  idea  which 
will  enable  us  to  sec  the  whole,  both  in  its  unity  and 
also  in  its  characteristic  peculiarities?"  That  the  Bible 
consists  of  two  parts  is  evident — historically  evident. 
This  is  not  a  theory  :  it  is  a  fact.  The  one  part  was 
written  before  the  advent  of  Christ,  the  other  was 
written  after  the  advent  of  Christ;  the  one  in  Hebrew, 
the  other  in  Greek  ;  the  one  believed  in  by  the  Jews, 
who  reject  the  other  ;  the  other  as  well  as  the  Old 
Testament  believed  in  by  the  Church  of  Christ. 
Now  this  last  fact  is  the  clue  to  the  whole  question. 
During  the  times  of  the  Gentiles,  while  Israel  is  under 
the  displeasure  of  God,  and  estranged  from  Him,  there 
is  the  Church,  as  a  witness  for  God,  and  the  name 
which  was  formerly  "  Jehovah  "  lives  among  them  as 
"  I  Jesus."  Therefore  the  one  set  of  books  belongs 
to  Israel,  and  has  reference  to  the  past  history  of 
Israel,  and  to  the  future  glory  of  Israel,  and  the 
other  set  belongs  to  the  Church,  in  which  there 
are  both  Jews  and  Gentiles,  having  reference  to  the 
peculiar  position  which  shall  be  assigned  to  them,  at 
the  second  coming  of  our  blessed  Lord  and  Saviour. 
A  simple  Christian  who  has  been  instructed  in  the 
saving  truths  looks  upon  the  whole,  as  one.  He  sees 
the  continuity.  The  books  of  the  Old  and  of  the 
New  Testament  appear  to  him  like  a  ring,  or  like  a 
circle ;  for  as  in  the  first  three  chapters  of  Genesis 
we  are  told  of  the  creation  of  heaven  and  earth, 
and  of  Adam  and  Eve,  and  afterwards  of  the  serpent 
by  whom  our  first  parents  were  led  into  disobedience, 
so  in  the  three  last  chapters  of  the  book  of  Revela- 
tion these  points  are  taken  up  exactly  in  the  same 
method.  First,  Satan  is  cast  into  prison  and  made 
harmless  ;   then  there  is  the  marriage  of  the  Lamb 


204  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

and  of  the  Bride  ;  and  then  the  new  heaven  and  the 
new  earth  in  which  the  full  glory  of  God  is  made 
manifest.  The  history  is  also  continuous.  Malachi 
says,  "  There  will  come  the  precursor."  The  gospel 
virtually  begins,  "  There  was  a  man  sent  from  God, 
whose  name  was  John."  The  ist  chapter  of  the  book 
of  Matthew  shows  to  us  that  Abraham,  David,  the 
captivity,  and  Jesus — form  a  continuous  history.  So 
it  appears  to  them  as  a  ring  or  a  circle.  Or  again, 
when  they  think  of  promise  and  fulfilment,  it  appears 
to  them  as  a  tree  which  is  an  organic  whole.  Or  again, 
when  they  think  of  the  history  going  on,  it  appears  to 
them  as  a  river  which  flows  with  increasing  force  and 
beauty  until  at  last  it  passes  into  the  ocean.  Or 
again,  when  they  think  that  the  one  thing  is  pre- 
paratory to  the  other,  it  appears  to  them  as  a  house, 
— the  Old  Testament  the  foundation  and  the 
New  Testament  the  superstructure.  Or  it  appears 
to  them  as  a  riddle  :  the  Old  Testament  states  the 
problem  in  all  its  complex  difficulty ;  the  New 
Testament  gives  the  solution  in  its  majestic  sim- 
plicity. Or  it  appears,  as  a  lock  and  key :  the 
lock  is  very  complicated  with  many  wards,  some 
of  them  very  delicate  ;  the  key  exactly  fits  in,  and, 
without  straining  or  altering  any  of  the  wards, 
opens  it.  Or  again,  it  appears  to  them  like  that 
glorious  scene  when  there  were  multitudes  before 
Him  and  multitudes  behind  Him,  and  in  the 
middle  there  was  Jesus,  and  both  they  that  were 
before  and  they  that  followed  after,  said,  "  Hosanna 
to  the  Son  of  David."  Or  it  appears  like  those 
two  men  who  brought  the  grapes  from  the  promised 
land  to  show  to  Israel  what  a  blessed,  fertile 
country  it  was.      Both  carried    the  same   bunch  of 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  205 

grapes,  but  the  man  who  went  before  it  had  only  a 
passing  glance  of  it  when  he  took  it  up.  The  man 
who  went  behind  saw  the  grapes,  and  he  saw  the  man 
that  went  before.  Thus  were  the  prophets,  Christ  in 
the  middle,  and  the  apostles  who  saw  both  Christ 
and  the  prophets.  But  my  favourite  comparison  is 
this.  It  is  like  a  day,  and  you  know  that  in  Scrip- 
ture the  evening  comes  first  and  then  the  morning. 
It  was  evening  and  it  was  morning — one  day.  So 
there  comes  first  the  night,  so  to  speak,  of  the  Old 
Testament,  in  which  the  moon  of  promise  and  the 
stars  of  prophets  were  shining  and  gladdening  and 
comforting  the  hearts  of  God's  people,  and  then  there 
came  the  brightness  of  the  morning — yet  one  day. 
Still  more  is  it  like  that  child,  of  whom  King  Solomon 
said  "  Divide  it,"  and  the  mother  cried  out  "  By  no 
means  slay  the  child  "  ;  for  to  divide  Old  Testament 
and  New  Testament  is  to  take  away  the  life  of 
both,  for  they  are  not  merely  connected,  nor  are 
they  merely  harmonious,  but  they  interpenetrate 
one  another.  The  same  breath  of  life  and  the  same 
covenant  blood  of  Him  that  died  for  us  pervades 
them  all. 

But  if  we  sec  the  unity  of  Old  and  New  Testa- 
ment and  the  contrast,  also,  between  the  Old  and 
the  New  Testament,  the  question  now  is  this  :  What 
holds  the  Old  and  the  New  Testament  together,  in 
such  a  way  that  the  Old  Testament  never  is  super- 
seded,— that  what  is  peculiar  in  the  Old  Testament 
is  secured,  that  what  is  peculiar  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment is  secured,  and  yet  both  live  together  ?  To 
answer  this  question  I  must  begin  by  saying  that 
the  usual  designation  "  Old  "  and  "  New "  Testa- 
ment   appears    to    me    not    merely    imperfect,    but 


2o6  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

liable  to  great  misunderstanding.  Why  should  the 
books  of  Moses,  and  the  prophets,  be  called  Old 
Testament.  Certainly  "  Old  "  conveys  the  idea  of 
antiquity  as  if  it  had  passed  away,  and  the  idea  of 
old  covenant  conveys  the  idea  of  the  law.  But  I 
say  Moses,  and  the  prophets,  are  not  Old  Testament 
at  all.  The  Gospel  is  everywhere.  One  of  the 
objections  that  modern  criticism  has  brought  against 
the  later  books,  the  later  historical  books  and  the 
prophets  and  the  Psalms,  is  this — that  they  seem  to 
think  little  of  the  Levitical  institutions  ;  that  they 
ignore,  as  it  were,  the  law  ;  that  they  lay  great  stress 
upon  other  things — the  attitude  of  the  heart  towards 
God  and  the  coming  salvation  of  our  Lord.  Now, 
the  object  for  which  this  argument  is  pressed  is 
altogether  erroneous,  but  the  idea  is  not  erroneous, 
for  let  us  look  away  now  from  the  five  books  of 
Moses  which  are  generally  considered  the  law.  All 
the  other  books  are  full  of  the  gospel,  are  full  of 
Jesus,  are  full  of  atonement,  are  full  of  the  promise 
of  the  Spirit,  are  full  of  that  spiritual  relationship 
which  we  have  to  God,  so  that  the  Christian  Church 
can  sing  the  Psalms.  There  is  nothing  Levitical 
in  the  Psalms.  Come  we,  then,  to  the  five  books  of 
Moses.  Show  me  the  law  in  the  book  of  Genesis. 
It  is  not  there.  There  is  no  law  there.  "  Abraham 
believed  God,  and  it  was  counted  to  him  for  right- 
eousness." "  I  am  the  Lord.  Walk  thou  before 
me."  And  in  the  book  of  Deuteronomy  there  is 
given  what  the  apostle  states : — "  The  law  is 
spiritual";  Deuteronomy  sums  up  the  whole  in  this: 
"  Thou  shalt  love  the  Lord  with  all  thy  heart,  and 
thou  shalt  love  thy  neighbour  as  thyself"  The 
whole   of    that    book    is,  what   you    might   call    an 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  207 

evangelical  exhortation,  to  serve  the  God  who  has 
redeemed  us.  There  remain  Exodus,  Leviticus, 
and  Numbers.  Well,  what  about  Exodus  ?  It  is 
gospel  throughout.  Why  did  God  bring  Israel  out 
of  Egypt  ?  First  reason  :  election.  He  had  chosen 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob  ;  and  the  nation,  that 
was  to  descend  from  them,  went  back  to  the  election. 
And  the  second  reason  is  the  blood  of  the  paschal 
lamb,  and  the  institution  of  the  tabernacle.  Is  that 
law  or  is  that  gospel  ?  Is  not  that  mediation  ?  Is 
not  that  the  sacrifice  of  Christ,  under  every  possible 
aspect  ?  Is  not  that  the  down-coming  of  God — the 
descent  of  God  to  meet  His  people  because  He  is  the 
God  who  redeems  them,  and  because  He  is  the  God 
who  sanctifies  them  by  the  Holy  Ghost  ?  As  to  the 
book  of  Leviticus — read  the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews, 
and  say  whether  it  is  law  or  gospel.  In  the  book 
of  Genesis  we  see  Abraham  offering  up  Isaac,  his 
only  son.  In  the  book  of  Exodus  we  see  the  blood 
of  the  paschal  lamb.  In  the  book  of  Leviticus  we 
see  the  high  priest  entering,  once  a  year,  into 
the  Holy  of  Holies,  with  blood.  In  the  book  of 
Numbers  we  see  the  brazen  serpent  lifted  up,  that 
whosoever  looks  may  be  saved.  And  in  the  book 
of  Deuteronomy  we  see  the  "  prophet  like  unto  me 
whom  the  Lord  thy  God  will  raise  up  from  among 
thy  brethren.  Him  shalt  thou  hear."  It  is  all 
gospel.  Gospel  is  not  the  distinguishing  character- 
istic of  the  New  Testament.  Law  is  not  the 
distinguishing  characteristic  of  the  Old  Testament. 
That  I  firmly  maintain.  This  is  the  characteristic : 
the  one  is  the  book  of  the  kingdom  and  the  book 
of  Israel  ;  the  other  is  the  book  of  the  Church. 
In  the  one  God  manifests  His  promise,  and  it  is  the 


2o8  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

promise  that  has  reference  to  this  earth.  Israel  is 
the  nation.  Palestine  is  the  country.  All  the 
nations  of  the  world  are  the  circumference.  Jehovah 
is  the  King,  and  He  Himself  will  come,  and,  after 
judgments  on  the  nations  and  chastisements  on  His 
own  people,  He  will  save  and  glorify  Israel.  That 
is  the  promise  of  the  Old  Testament  from  beginning 
to  end.  As  Habakkuk  says,  "  The  prophecy  is  for 
the  appointed  time.  It  hasteth  to  the  end."  Liter- 
ally "  it  pointeth  to  the  end."  "  Though  it  tarry, 
wait  for  it.  It  will  not  disappoint,  but  it  will  surely 
come."  This  is  the  kingdom  of  which  the  angel 
spoke  to  the  Virgin  Mary.  This  is  the  kingdom  of 
which  Mary  spoke,  and  of  which  Zechariah  spoke, 
and  of  which  the  disciples  spoke,  when  they  asked 
the  ascending  Lord,  "  Wilt  thou  at  this  time  restore 
the  kingdom  unto  Israel  ? "  It  is  the  book  of  the 
kingdom  ;  it  is  the  book  of  Israel  ;  and  during  the 
present  dispensation  the  book,  as  it  were,  still 
belongs  to  Israel,  and  also  belongs  to  the  Church 
that  is  waiting  for  its  fulfilment.  We  now  come  to 
the  New  Testament.  The  New  Testament  has  also 
a  point  to  which  it  looks  ;  and  what  is  that  point  ? 
Oh,  I  will  speak  freely  on  this  subject.  It  is  the 
second  advent  of  our  Lord,  when  He  will  return 
with  His  saints,  and  when  He  will  make  Himself 
manifest  to  Israel  and  to  the  whole  world,  not  in 
order  that  the  last  judgment  may  be  held,  but  that 
another  historical  period  may  be  ushered  in,  when 
God's  will  shall  be  done  upon  this  earth  as  it  is  in 
heaven,  and  when  Jesus  Christ  and  the  transfigured 
saints  shall  come  to  be  seen  and  to  be  acknowledged, 
— and  then  there  shall  be  fulfilled  the  promises  which 
God   has  given   from    the   beginning   of  the   world. 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  209 

When  He  comes  Israel  will  say,  "It  is  Jehovah,  and 
it  is  His  first  advent."  The  Church  will  say,  "  It  is 
Jesus,  and  it  is  His  second  advent."  Israel  will  say, 
"  He  has  come  to  take  possession  of  the  throne  of 
His  father  David,  and  Jerusalem  will  be  glorified 
and  will  be  His  nation."  And  the  Church  will  say, 
"  He  is  glorified  in  the  saints,  and  admired  in  all 
them  that  believe,  and  we,  whom  He  has  redeemed 
with  His  blood,  shall  reign  with  Him  on  the  earth." 
This  is  what  all  the  apostles  taught,  and  taught 
constantly.  Scarcely  are  the  Thessalonians  converted 
from  idolatry,  before  the  apostles  teach  them,  to 
wait  for  the  coming  of  God's  Son  from  heaven. 
There  is  no  summary  given  in  the  apostolic  epistles, 
of  what  we  believe,  that  does  not  bring  in  "  the 
blessed  hope,  the  glorious  appearing  (notice  the  ex- 
pression) of  the  great  God,  and  our  Saviour  Jesus 
Christ."  Purposely  the  expression  is  the  Jehovah, 
who  will  appear  unto  Israel.  It  is  Jesus  who  appears 
with  the  Church — the  same  thing, — "  the  great  God 
and  our  Saviour  Jesus  Christ."  And  the  angel 
explained  it  to  the  disciples  :  "  This  same  Jesus  shall 
so  come."  It  is  the  next  thing  which  is  to  happen. 
He  has  left  you,  and  the  next  thing  that  is  to 
happen  is  that  He  will  return.  Now  I  will  confirm 
it  ;  and  if  there  are  any  here  who  are  in  doubt 
on  the  subject, —  Do,  I  beg  of  you,  consider  it. 
Take,  now,  the  position  of  the  apostles.  They  were 
told  to  go  into  all  the  world  and  to  evangelise. 
Israel  was  without  the  knowledge  of  the  Messiah. 
The  nations  were  sunk  in  ignorance  and  idolatry. 
The  whole  field  was  before  them.  Why  do  they 
trouble  about  the  end  ?  Have  they  not  plenty  to 
do  ?      Many  people  tell  us,  "  Do  not  speak  to  us  of 

P 


THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 


the  second  advent.  It  is  for  us  to  missionize  and  to 
convert  the  world."  Nobody  objects  to  your  con- 
verting the  world,  if  you  can  do  it.  Why  is  it  that 
these  apostles,  who  are  just  beginning  their  work,  do 
not  say  to  the  congregations,  "  Only  wait.  It  is 
quite  true  that  now  the  majority  is  against  us  ;  but, 
century  after  century,  that  will  change.  Christianity 
will  leaven  the  world  " — leaven  never  used  in  a  good 
sense,  but  always  in  a  bad  sense — "  Christianity  will 
leaven  the  whole  world  and  bring  all  civilisation  and 
knowledge  and  art  into  its  sphere."  No  ;  but  what 
they  say  to  their  congregations  is  this  :  "  The  mys- 
tery of  iniquity  has  already  begun  to  manifest  itself. 
Little  children,  it  is  the  last  time.  Hasten  to  the 
coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  knowing  that  the  last 
times  shall  be  perilous  times, — and  we  wait  for  our 
Lord  Himself  to  come  and  establish  His  kingdom." 

Second  objection.  People  tell  us,  when  we  speak 
about  the  second  advent,  "  Have  we  not  enough 
to  say  about  the  first  advent,  the  incarnation,  the 
crucifixion,  the  resurrection,  the  ascension,  the  teach- 
ing of  our  blessed  Saviour,  the  example  of  our 
blessed  Saviour?"  Oh  yes;  but  the  apostles  who, 
as  it  were,  had  yet  the  transcendent  glory  of  the 
first  advent,  irradiating  their  countenances  and 
solemnising  their  hearts, — who  had  heard  the  words 
which  flowed  from  His  blessed  lips, — who  had  seen 
Him  die  on  the  cross, — to  whom  He  had  appeared 
after  His  resurrection,  and  who  had  beheld  how  He 
was  taken  up  in  a  cloud — although  all  these  stupend- 
ous, magnificent,  and  most  blessed  facts  of  the  first 
advent  were  so  close  to  them,  they  could  never 
dissociate  it,  from  the  appearing  of  our  great  God 
and  Saviour,  from   the   return    of  our   blessed    Lord 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  211 

Jesus  Christ,  And  why  should  the  gospel  of  the 
apostle  John,  which  he  wrote  in  order  that  faith 
might  have  its  right  foundation,  and  the  epistles  of 
the  apostle,  which  he  wrote  in  order  that  we  might 
know  the  true  character  of  love  both  to  God  and 
man — why  should  they  only  be  read  and  appre- 
ciated by  the  Church,  while  the  other  book,  the 
Revelation,  of  which  he  himself  says,  "  Blessed  is  he 
that  readeth  and  they  that  hear  the  words  of  this 
prophecy,"  is  ignored — why  should  that  book  not  be 
brought  continually  before  our  gaze  ?  The  attitude 
of  the  Christian,  whether  he  lives  in  the  first  century 
or  in  the  nineteenth  century,  or  in  the  twenty-ninth 
century  if  there  will  be  such  a  century  in  the  present 
dispensation,  remains  entirely  the  same.  Some 
people  may  say,  "  But,  you  ^ce,  the  apostles  were 
mistaken,  Jesus  Christ  did  not  come  "  ;  or  they  may 
say  that  Bengel  was  mistaken  because  Jesus  Christ 
did  not  come,  when  he  prophesied  He  would.  That  has 
nothing  to  do  with  it — nothing  whatever  to  do  with  it. 
This  is  the  point — that,  during  this  whole  dispensation 
of  the  Church,  the  world  will  not  get  better,  and 
that  the  only  object  both  for  the  Church  and  for 
the  world  is  the  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 
Having  this  expectation  of  the  heart,  we  will  keep 
ourselves  from  the  spirit  of  the  world,  and  know  that 
in  this  dispensation  it  is  for  the  Church  to  witness, 
to  suffer,  to  hold  fast,  and  to  be  faithful.  The  illus- 
trious Bengel  made  this  remark  :  "  The  Christian 
Churches  have  forgotten  the  hope  of  the  Church, 
but  they  still  exhort  people  to  be  faithful,  and  to  be 
unworldly,  and  to  be  patient  ;  but  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment, all  exhortations  to  be  unworldly,  and  to  be 
faithful,  and  to  be  diligent,  are  based  upon  this  fact 


THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 


— that  the  Lord  is  coming.      '  What  God  has  joined 
together,  let  not  man  put  asunder.' " 

And  now  we  must  consider  the  connecting  Hnks 
which  show  in  the  Old  Testament,  that  the  coming 
of  Jehovah  is  identical  with  the  coming  of  Jesus, 
and  show  in  the  New  Testament,  that  the  coming  of 
Jesus  is  identical  with  the  coming  of  Jehovah. 
There  is  far  more  said  in  the  book  of  the  kingdom, 
as  I  shall  now  call  it,  or  in  the  book  of  Israel,  of 
the  second  advent  than  of  the  first  advent — far  more, 
and  for  this  simple  reason  :  If  everything  concerning 
the  first  advent  and  the  rejection  of  Jesus  by  His 
people  Israel  had  been  plainly  and  clearly  foretold, 
the  coming  of  Jesus  to  Israel  would  have  been  a  fore- 
gone conclusion  ; — it  would  not  have  been  possible 
that  the  nation  should  have  been  tested,  as  God 
wished  to  test  them.  "At  last  He  sent  His  Son. 
Peradventure  they  will  listen  to  Him."  He  had  to 
come,  as  it  were,  incognito,  and  it  was  necessary  for 
them  to  have  the  first  advent,  and  the  rejection  of 
Jesus,  clouded  and  veiled,  and  so  mixed  up  with 
the  second  advent  that  the  difficulty  could  only  be 
overcome  by  the  mysterious  thing  which  we  call 
faith,  and  which  is  called  forth  by  the  power  of 
God.  Yet  there  were  many  things  in  the  Old 
Testament  that  showed  to  them  the  great  problem, 
which  we  can  solve  now  from  the  New  Testament 
point  of  view.  Our  Lord  Jesus  referred  to  it.  "  How 
does  David  call  Him  Lord,  when  He  is  his  Son. 
Why  does  He  say  unto  Him,  '  Sit  Thou  at  My  right 
hand  '  ?  That  is  not  in  Jerusalem.  You  expect 
Messiah.  You  expect  rightly  the  Messiah  to  be 
your  King.  But  this  servant  of  the  Lord,  this 
Son    of  David  —  the   Holy    Ghost   by   David    calls 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  213 

Lord,  and  His  position  is  at  the  right  hand  above. 
How  is  that  ? "  He  refers  also  to  the  prophecy  of 
Daniel.  "  From  henceforth  you  shall  see  the  Son  of 
Man  in  power,  and  coming  with  the  clouds  of  heaven." 
Daniel  predicts  the  four  monarchies  ;  there  comes 
direct  from  above,  from  heaven,  the  fifth  monarchy, 
which  is  the  everlasting  kingdom.  That  is  the 
stone  cut  out  without  hands,  and  it  is  the  Son  of 
Man  coming  in  the  clouds  from  heaven.  But  how 
should  He  get  there  ?  Whoever  heard  of  the  Son 
of  Man  from  heaven  ?  Is  this  the  root  out  of  a  dry 
ground  ?  Is  this  He  who  was  born  in  Bethlehem 
Ephratah  ?  The  Son  of  Man  from  heaven, —  the 
rejection  of  Jesus,  and  the  exaltation  of  Jesus. 

Now  He  comes  down.  Therefore  the  apostle 
says  to  the  Thessalonians,  "  You  wait  for  the  coming 
of  Jesus  from  heaven."  The  first  time  He  came 
from  heaven,  the  second  time  He  will  come  from 
heaven.  This  shows  you  how,  in  the  Old  Testament 
we  have  already  indication,  that  the  Jehovah  who 
comes  to  establish  the  kingdom  on  earth  is  none  other 
than  He,  who  is  described  in  the  book  of  Zechariah. 
"  They  shall  look  unto  him  whom  they  have  pierced  ; 
and  his  feet  shall  stand  upon  the  Mount  of  Olives 
which  is  before  Jerusalem  on  the  east."  In  the  New 
Testament  the  apostle  Peter  says  to  the  Jews, 
"  Repent  that  your  sins  may  be  blotted  out,  in  order 
that  times  of  refreshment  may  come  from  the  pres- 
ence of  the  Lord,  when  he  shall  send  Jesus  who  is 
your  Messiah."  And  the  apostle  Paul  says  to  the 
Romans,  "  All  Israel  shall  be  saved."  Why  ?  Be- 
cause it  is  written  in  the  prophet  Isaiah,  that  out 
of  Zion  shall  come  the  deliverer.  Therefore,  in  the 
New  Testament,   both    in    the   gospels    and    in    the 


214  THE  PERFECT  HARMONY 

epistles,  the  coming  of  the  Lord  Jesus  is  connected 
with  the  national  restoration  and  blessing  of  Israel, — 
or,  in  other  words,  the  coming  of  Jehovah  ;  and  so 
until  we  come  to  the  blessed  book  of  the  Revelation. 
There  we  have  all  summed  up  in  this  book  of  the 
kingdom  and  this  book  of  the  Church.  There  we 
see  the  unity  of  the  whole  record,  which  God  has 
given  to  us.  He  will  come  again.  Jehovah  means 
the  coming  one  ;  and  now  He  is  called  Jesus,  who 
was,  and  is,  and  is  to  come,  and  of  whom  the  Church 
says,  "  Come,  Lord  Jesus,  come  quickly." 

And  now,  in  conclusion,  let  me  just  say  one  word 
about  the  attitude  of  the  Church.  In  the  6th  chapter 
of  the  gospel  of  John,  we  have  two  miracles  inti- 
mately connected, — the  feeding  of  the  multitude  in 
the  wilderness,  and  Christ  appearing  to  the  disciples 
in  the  midst  of  the  sea,  when  they  are  in  the  storm. 
The  wilderness  represents  the  world  in  its  poverty, 
in  its  hunger  and  in  its  absolute  destitution.  It 
can  provide  nothing  for  the  real  wants  of  mankind. 
Jesus  is  there,  with  His  disciples  ;  and,  through  the 
disciples,  He,  with  five  loaves  and  two  fishes,  feeds 
the  multitude  abundantly,  so  that  there  are  basketfuls 
left, — that  is  the  word  that  grows  and  is  multiplied. 
Simple,  mean,  insignificant,  powerless,  altogether  in- 
significant, it  appears  to  men.  Weak  are  the  dis- 
ciples whom  Jesus  Christ  makes  His  agents  ;  but  the 
miracle  is  done,  and,  for  eighteen  centuries,  thousands 
and  thousands  of  hungry  ones  have  been  fed,  and 
have  found  life  and  strength  everlasting.  The  sea  is 
the  emblem  of  the  world,  not  in  its  poverty  and 
hunger,  but  in  its  unrest,  and  in  its  opposition  to,  and 
enmity  against  God  ;  and  the  wind  and  the  storms 
that  blow  are  the  emblems  of  Satan,  and  of  all  the 


OF  THE  OLD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS  215 

agents  of  Satan,  who  do  everything  to  destroy  the 
Church,  And  Christ  is  no  longer  in  the  midst  of 
the  disciples,  but  on  a  mountain,  high,  apart,  praying 
to  the  Father.  And  the  disciples  are  left  alone  in 
the  ship  ;  and  it  is  for  them  to  row  and  to  toil  ;  but 
they  make  no  progress,  for  the  world  always  remains 
the  same.  No  apologetics  will  bring  it  one  inch 
nearer  to  the  end,  till  at  last,  in  the  fourth  watch, 
Jesus  Himself  comes;  and  immediately — immediately 
— the  ship  is  safe,  close  to  shore.      Amen. 


XI 


THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 
SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED 

Moses  and  the  Prophets  to  be  read  in  the  light  of  the  apostoHc  writ- 
ings— First  principles  discussed  as  much  as  ever — Agreement  of 
Celsus  and  the  modern  Darwinians — Weakness  of  modern  apolo- 
gists who  separate  Christ  from  the  Old  Testament — The  double 
sense  of  the  law  —  The  Old  and  New  Testaments,  as  a  stereo- 
scope, give  together  the  complete  view  of  Jesus — Schopenhauer's 
definition  of  a  book  of  thought,  applied  to  the  Bible — It  is  or- 
ganically united — The  Bible  not  a  literary  production  but  a  part 
of  God's  dealings  with  Israel  and  the  Church — The  Jews  cannot 
now  understand  the  Old  Testament  because  they  will  not  consider 
it  in  the  light  of  the  New  Testament- — The  book  of  Israel  (O.T. ) 
and  the  book  of  the  Church  (N.T.)  have  strong  similarities  in 
construction — Moses'  authorship  of  the  Pentateuch  shown  to  be 
essential — The  Pentateuch  as  historical,  prophetical,  etc.,  clearly 
the  basis  of  all  the  other  books. 


I  WISH  to-day,  first,  to  offer  you  a  few  remarks,  on 
the  present  state  of  opposition  to  Christianity,  and  to 
the  Old  Testament  especially  ;  then  to  confirm  and 
illustrate,  in  a  few  words,  the  two  positions  which  I 
maintained  in  my  last  lecture,  namely,  that  the  one 
central  and  leading  idea  which  throws  light,  both 
upon  the  identity  of  Old  and  New  Testaments,  and 
also  upon  their  contrast,  is  the  second  advent  of  our 
blessed  Lord,  and  that,  therefore,  the  scriptures  of 
Moses  and  the  prophets  would  be  more  properly 
termed,  "  book  of  the  kingdom  and  of  Israel,"  and 


THE  TWO  BOOKS  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED    217 

the  scriptures  of  evangelists  and  apostles  "  book  of  the 
Church"  ;  and,  after  having  done  this,  I  wish  to  show 
to  you  the  reasons,  why  it  is  both  rational  and  accord- 
ing to  the  will  of  God,  that  we  should  always  read 
Moses  and  the  prophets,  in  the  light  of  the  apostolic 
writings.  And  lastly,  I  wish  to  say  a  few  words  on 
the  structure,  of  both  the  earlier  and  the  later  books. 
It  may  seem  strange  at  first  sight  that  when 
Christianity  has  been  in  the  world  for  so  many 
centuries,  and  when,  almost  from  the  beginning, 
earnest  and  thoughtful  defenders  of  the  faith  have 
refuted  the  manifold  objections,  which  are  brought 
against  the  truth,  and  have  pressed  with  great  clear- 
ness, skill,  and  earnestness,  the  multiform  and  cumu- 
lative evidence  for  the  Gospel,  the  conflict  between 
.faith  and  unbelief  is  going  on  at  present,  as  much  as 
in  any  age  of  the  past.  And  this  is  still  more  strange, 
when  we  remember  that  the  points  at  issue  which 
are  debated  at  the  present  are  not  secondary  points, 
but  are  points  of  the  most  elementary  and  funda- 
mental character  ;  if  there  had  been  ten  points  at 
issue  between  Christians  and  the  world,  and  six  of 
these  points  had  been  established,  and  now  there 
was  still  controversy  about  four  remaining  secondary 
points,  it  would  not  be  so  wonderful  ;  but  what  a 
wonderful  thing  it  is  that,  within  the  last  ten  or 
twenty  years,  the  points  of  debate  are  of  the  most 
elementary  character,  such  as  whether  there  is  a 
personal  God,  whether  revelation  and  miracle  are 
possible,  whether  Jesus  is  more  than  man.  The 
young  especially  are  perplexed,  because  they  are 
labouring  under  a  mistake  :  they  fancy,  that  while 
Christianity  may  have  been  able  to  hold  its  ground 
during  past    centuries,  such    is  the  development  of 


2i8    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

human  knowledge,  and  of  the  powers  of  the  human 
mind,  that  we  have  now  arrived  at  a  height,  where 
Christianity  is  no  longer  tenable.  They  forget,  as 
the  apostle  explains  to  us,  that  the  opposition  of 
human  wisdom  and  reason  to  Christianity  is  not  an 
accidental  thing,  but  that  it  is  essential,  and  that  it 
is  based  upon  the  inherent  character  and  nature, 
both  of  Christianity  and  of  the  world.  When  the 
apostle  Paul  writes  to  the  Corinthians  "  Not  many 
wise  after  the  flesh  are  called,"  I  should  like  to  ask 
a  number  of  people  what  that — "  wise  after  the  flesh  " 
means,  and  when  he  says  that  the  Gospel  is  fool- 
ishness to  the  Greeks,  he  does  not  imagine  that  that 
is  peculiar  to  his  own  period.  He  does  not  appeal 
from  his  own  time  to  future  generations,  who  may 
be  more  enlightened,  and  more  wise,  and  more  in- 
clined to  receive  the  Gospel  ;  but  he  makes  a  general 
statement,  that  in  every  age  of  this  dispensation, 
unregenerate  man  is  not  able  to  understand  the 
things  of  God,  and  that  they  must  be  revealed  to 
him  by  the  Spirit.  So  far,  then,  from  being  any 
discouragement  to  us,  much  as  we  regret  and  lament, 
that  at  the  present  day  the  opposition  against 
Christianity  is  as  vehement  and  fierce,  as  ever  it  was, 
and  that  the  attacks  are  made  on  the  most  central 
and  vital  points  of  the  truth, — we  see  in  this  only  a 
corroboration  of  the  testimony  of  the  apostle,  and 
only  a  proof  of  what  we  'all  have  experienced — that 
no  man  can  call  Jesus  Lord,  save  by  the  Holy  Ghost. 
■  The  attacks  of  unbelief  against  Christianity, 
and  against  the  Scripture,  (for  to  attack  the  Scrip- 
ture is  to  attack  Christianity),  vary  according  to  dif- 
ferent modes  of  thought,  and  according  to  different 
historical    and    social    circumstances,   as    the   world 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      219 

advances.  The  assailants  are  always  shifting  their 
ground.  According  to  the  metaphysics  of  the 
day,  their  objections  are  framed.  They  are  modern, 
but  they  are  never  new.  To  corroborate  this  I 
bring  before  you  a  very  striking  fact.  The  first 
attack  against  Christianity  in  a  systematic  form  of 
which  history  has  record  is  the  book  of  Celsus, 
written  in  the  year  150  of  our  era, — and  in  this 
book  Celsus  attacks  Christianity  in  this  way.  In  the 
first  place  he  says,  "  You  tell  a  great  many  wonderful 
things  about  Jesus.  Why  do  you  suppose,  that  those 
wonderful  things  are  truer,  than  the  many  fables  and  i 
myths,  which  other  nations  and  other  people  tell  i 
about  their  gods  and  demigods  ?  And  what  a  strange 
thing  it  is,  that  this  Jesus  was  not  able,  to  attach 
to  him  so  much  even  his  own  disciples,  as  to  render 
them  firm  in  the  hour  of  trial.  And  what  evidence 
is  there  of  his  resurrection,  but  the  heated  imagina- 
tion of  a  woman,  who  was  a  devoted  follower  of  his,  I 
and  who  said  that  she  had  seen  a  vision  of  the  risen 
one  ?  "  Again  he  says,  "  If  God  "  (he  did  not  believe 
in  God  in  our  sense)  "  is  omniscient  and  omnipotent, 
why  does  he  require  a  messenger  to  benefit  mankind  ? 
And  what  a  religion  is  this,  that  addresses  itself  to 
the  ignorant,  to  fishermen,  artisans,  and  poor  people 
that  have  no  learning,  and  that  addresses  itself  also 
to  people  of  bad  character,  for  we  know  that  no  bad 
character  ever  can  become  a  good  character."  And 
again  he  says,  "  You  think  far  too  much  of  man. 
Why  is  man  of  so  much  importance,  that  such  great 
things  should  be  done  for  him  ?  Why  do  you  place 
man  so  high  above  the  animals,  for  we  see  among 
the  animals  skill,  and  reason,  and  forethought,  and 
gratitude,   and    sagacity, —  nay,    some   of   them    are 


220    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

greatly  in  advance  of  us.  And  what  do  you  imagine, 
that  this  whole  world  is  ?  Do  you  think  that  it  is 
better  at  one  time  than  at  another  ? — that  there  is 
in  it  purpose  and  progress  ?  The  world  is  always 
the  same.  The  combination  of  things  remains  always 
the  same.  It  neither  alters  nor  improves  nor  de- 
teriorates." These  things  were  written,  after  150 
years  of  our  era.  Are  they  not  exactly  like  the 
things,  said  by  Strauss,  against  the  truth  of  Chris- 
tianity ?  Is  it  not  the  voice  of  the  Darwinian,  which 
we  hear  in  every  sentence?  The  same  ideas  are 
presented,  the  same  objections  made,  the  same  fun- 
damental position  is  held.  The  apostles  were  the 
teachers  of  all  nations.  The  apostles  never  de- 
scended into  the  territory  of  their  opponents.  They 
did  take  notice  of  their  objections  and  refuted  them, 
but  always  from  the  standpoint  of  faith.  The 
apostles  never  said,  "  Now  we  shall  look  at  the 
thing,  metaphysically.  We  shall  leave  out  of  view 
the  authority  of  the  Bible.  We  shall  argue  with 
you  as  a  metaphysician  with  a  metaphysician,  as 
a  logician  with  a  logician,  as  a  historian  with 
a  historian," — never  for  a  single  moment.  The 
apostle  said  to  the  Athenians,  that  all  the  time 
of  their  former  magnificent  history,  full  of  meta- 
physical speculation  and  of  wonderful  culture,  was 
the  time  of  ignorance,  and  that  God  had  sent  him, 
out  of  the  fulness  of  the  revealed  truth,  to  show 
to  them  the  things  of  God.  This,  then,  is,  and  will 
be,  as  long  as  this  present  dispensation  lasts.  Truth 
and  unbelief  will  contend,  and  there  will  be  no 
victory  acknowledged.  True !  there  are  many 
arguments  brought  forward  in  the  present  day, 
which    could     never    have     been     brought     forward 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      221 

before.  The  very  stones  are  crying  out.  Within 
the  last  twenty  or  thirty  years,  the  evidences  for  the 
historical  truth  and  accuracy  of  the  Old  Testament 
Scriptures,  especially  as  to  the  books  of  Moses,  have 
been  confirmed,  in  the  most  striking  way,  by  the 
discovery  of  the  Assyrian  and  Egyptian  monuments. 
That  is  perfectly  true  ;  but  the  prejudice  is  too  deep, 
and  too  much  rooted  in  the  very  centre  of  the 
human  heart,  for  any  of  these  arguments,  precious 
and  valuable  as  they  are,  to  do  more  than  rouse 
attention.  After  that  has  been  aroused,  there  re- 
mains the  decision,  as  Christ  said  to*  the  messengers 
of  John  the  Baptist.  Miracles  are  done.  But  these 
miracles  will  never  force  you  to  believe.  Miracles 
arrest  your  attention,  and  then  comes  the  decision. 
"  Blessed  is  he  that  is  not  offended  in  Me."  The 
Old  Testament  has  been  made  specially  the  object 
of  attack  in  the  present  day,  and  it  is  well  that  it  is 
so.  Nothing  better  could  have  happened.  I  will 
tell  you  why  :  I  believe  in  Jesus,  and  I  believe  the 
revelation,  which,  through  Jesus,  was  given  to  us  by 
the  apostles,  to  have  been  not  merely  the  word  of 
God,  but  the  highest  reason, — absolute  wisdom  and 
truth.  Now  when  I  find  that  Jesus  always  founded 
His  claims  and  based  His  teaching,  and  explained  all 
the  facts  of  His  life,  death  and  resurrection,  by 
reference  to  Moses  and  the  prophets,  and  when  I 
find  that  the  apostles,  even  when  they  went  to  the 
heathen,  who  did  not  know  Moses  and  the  prophets, 
preached  to  them,  that  Christ  died  and  rose  again 
according  to  the  Scriptures,  and  did  not  try  to  prove 
the  authenticity  or  divinity  of  the  Scriptures,  except 
by  their  inherent  power, — then  I  say  there  is  no  other 
way  of  proving  the  truth,  or  even  of  stating  the  truth. 


222    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

but  by  reference  to  Moses  and  the  prophets.      But 
in  the  latter  days,  Christian  apologists  have  pursued 
quite  a  different  method.     What  they  have  said  is 
this  :  "  There  are  so  many  objections  against  the  Old 
Testament,  but,  after  all,  it -is  not  of  great  import- 
ance.     Let  us  pitch  that  overboard,  or,  at  all  events, 
leave  it  out  of  consideration.      Let  us  narrow  the 
issue.      When  we  speak  to  infidels  and  sceptics,  let 
us   leave   out   the   Old   Testament.       We   shall   say 
simply,  *  Here   is    Christ,    look   at   the  character  of 
Christ,  how   noble,  how   perfect,   how   beautiful.      Is 
He  not  different   from   all   other    men  ?    is    He  not 
greater  than  all  other  men  ?    is   He  not  unique  ?  ' " 
Verily  He  is.     What  follows  ?     They  have  imagined, 
— that  by  presenting  Christ  apart  from  the  soil  in 
which   God   made   Him   grow  and   spring  up,  apart 
from  the  preparation  for  Him  by  the  whole  history 
of  Israel,  apart  from  the  teaching  which  God  gave  to 
His  people  by  Moses  and  the  prophets, — by  putting 
Christ    before    men    simply    as    a     human    picture, 
appealing  to  human   reason,  as  if  He  had  dropped 
down    from    the    heavens, — they    would    gain    the 
assent  of  people.      What  assent  is  gained  ?      Assent 
is    gained,    but   of   what    nature  ?       To    do    justice 
to   the    Unitarians,   and    to  the   old    rationalists   in 
Germany,  they  had  a  most  sincere  admiration  of  the 
beauty    of    Christ's    character,  and    they   were    ex- 
ceedingly skilful,  in  showing  the  wonderful  features 
of    His   moral   excellence,  harmony,  and    perfection. 
They  were  quite  sincere  and  enthusiastic  about  it. 
But  between  Christ  being  the  best  man,  and  Christ 
being  the  Son  of  God, — between  these  positions,  there 
is  no  bridge.      Faith   must  bridge  it  over,  and   faith 
can  only  bridge  it  over,  when  we  see  that  Christ  is 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      223 

the  One  who  is  alone  the  fulfilment  of  that  constant 
series  of  condescending,  redemptive  manifestations,  of 
which  the  Old  Testament  is  the  record.     But  now  God 
compels  these   half-and-half  Christian   apologists, — 
by  the  unbelieving  world  attacking  the  Old  Testa- 
ment,— to  do  what  they  ought  to  have  done  from  the 
beginning,  because   Christ  and  the  apostles   plainly 
impressed  it, — and  not  to  imagine  that  their  philo- 
sophical method  is  superior  to  that  which  God  Him- 
self has  laid  down.      This  is  a  very  important  point, 
and  those  of  you  who  know  what  is  going  on  in  the 
churches,  and  have  watched  things  for  the  last  twenty 
or   thirty    years,   will    see    that    it   does   not    merely 
involve  apologetics,  but  it  refers  to  the  whole  mode 
of    preaching  and    teaching   the   blessed    Gospel    of 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.      The  ark  sometimes  fell  into 
the    hands    of   the    Philistines,    but    the    Philistines 
could  not  do  anything  with  the  ark  of  God.      It  was 
of  no  use  to  them.      Sooner  or  later  they  must  hand 
it  back  to   Israel.      The  interpretation  of  Scripture 
will  receive  no  benefit  or  light,  worth  .speaking  of, 
but  from  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  herself.      It  is 
quite  true,  for   I   wish  to  do  justice  to  all,  that  the 
rationalists,    looking    upon    the    Bible   as   a   human 
book,  and  studying  the   Bible  diligently  and  labor- 
iously, with  a  vast  amount  of  philological  and  historical 
erudition    and    skill,  have   brought  out   many  valu- 
able facts,  and  have  established  many  very  valuable 
interpretations.      It  is  also  true  that  another  school 
of   interpretation,   looking    at    the    Bible    from    the 
aesthetic    and     poetical     point     of   view,    like    that 
great    man    Heine,  have   contributed    much    to   the 
understanding  of  Scripture.      It  is  further  true  that 
the  best  exponent  of  the   modern  critical   treatment 


ft24    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

of  the  Old  Testament,  Ewald,  a  man  of  profound 
earnestness  and  moral  elevation,  finding  in  the 
Old  Testament  the  expression  of  the  highest  in- 
tuitions and  religious  aspirations  of  the  human 
mind,  but  not  a  supernatural  inspiration  from  above, 
has  brought  out  much,  both  of  the  spirit  and  of  the 
letter  of  the  old  history  and  of  the  old  teaching. 
But  the  real  light  on  the  Scripture  can  only  proceed 
from  those  who,  by  the  selfsame  Holy  Ghost  which 
breathed  the  Scriptures,  have  been  taught  to  believe 
the  things,  that  are  contained  in  the  Scriptures, 

Why  did  the  Reformers,  as  it  were,  introduce  a 
new  era,  in   the  understanding  and  interpretation  of 
Scripture  ?      Because   they  had   hold  of  the  central 
idea, — justification    by    faith   in    Jesus    Christ.       If 
you    have  anything,  that    Scripture    teaches,    firmly 
established   in   your   mind,  it   will   throw   light   upon 
the  whole  Scripture.      For  instance,  the  doctrine  of 
the   Holy  Ghost.      Well,  from  Genesis  to  the  book 
of  Revelation,  if  you  have  that  doctrine  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  clearly  established  in  your  mind,  you  will  see 
a  unity,  a  comprehensiveness,  an  organic  illustration 
of  that  doctrine,  which  will  confirm  your  faith  in  the 
whole  Scripture.     Now,  what  I  asserted  in  my  last  lec- 
ture, and  what  I  have  asserted  ever  since  I  have'been  in 
the  ministry,  and  hope  to  assert  as  long  as  God  may 
spare  me,  is  this — that  the  one  central  point,  and  the 
highest  point  from  which  the  whole  of  Moses  and  the 
prophets,  and  the  whole  of  the  gospels,  epistles,  and 
Apocalypse,  can  be  comprehended,  both  in  their  unity 
and  in  their  diversity,  is  the  glorious  appearing  of  the 
great  God  and   Saviour — Jehovah  coming  to  Israel, 
to  Jerusalem,  to  restore  the  kingdom  to  the  nation — 
Jesus,  that  Jehovah,  coming  to  the  Church  to  receive 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      225 

the  saints,  that  they  in   heavenly  places   may  reign 
with  Him. 

As  I  reminded  you,  to  call  the  books  of  Moses 
and  the  prophets  "  Old  Testament "  is  liable  to  be 
misunderstood,  although  I  do  not  say  that  it  is  in- 
correct. Jesus  Christ  used  the  expression,  "  Moses 
and  the  prophets,"  "Moses,,  the  prophets,  and  the 
Psalms,"  and  "  the  Scriptures,"  and  so  did  the  apostles. 
But  there  is  no  authority  for  saying  "  Old 
Testament "  or  "  New  Testament."  In  the  ancient 
Church  they  called  what  we  call  the  New  Testa- 
ment "  Gospel  and  Epistle,"  because,  first,  they  laid 
almost  exclusive  importance  on  the  writings  of  Paul, 
who  was  the  apostle  of  the  Gentiles.  But  as 
"  Testament "  is  generally  understood  by  people  in 
the  sense  of  covenant,  and  tJiey  fancy  that  Old 
Testament  means  that  these  books  refer  to  law,  I 
must  remind  you  of  what  you  all  know.  Law, 
in  Scripture,  in  the  New  Testament  especially, 
has  two  significations — a  narrow  and  a  large 
one.  In  its  narrow  meaning,  it  is  that  which 
is  opposed  to  gospel  —  the  works  of  the  law,  the 
covenant  of  works.  "  Do  this  and  thou  shalt  live  : 
if  you  do  not  do  this  you  are  under  the  curse." 
Therefore  the  apostle  says,  "  They  that  are  under 
the  law  are  under  a  curse.  The  law  worketh  wrath. 
The  law  is  the  strength  of  sin."  Only  think  of  the 
Pharisee,  Saul,  saying  this  of  the  law.  It  sounds 
almost  blasphemous.  "  The  law  worketh  wrath  : 
the  law  is  the  strength  of  sin.  They  that  are  under 
the  law  are  under  the  curse."  Was  Abraham,  then, 
under  the  law,  or  Moses,  or  David,  or  Isaiah,  and  were 
they  under  a  curse  ?  Was  the  law  to  them  the 
strength   of  sin  ?      Of  course   not,  as   little  as  to  the 

Q 


226    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

apostle  Paul  and  the  apostle  John,  for  we  believe 
that  the  saints  of  God,  from  beginning  to  end,  are 
saved  by  grace,  through  faith  in  the  Redeemer.  But 
there  is  another  sense  in  which  we  use  the  word 
"  law."  When  David  says  that  he  delights  himself 
in  the  law  of  the  Lord,  he  means  the  whole  teaching 
and  all  the  institutions  of  God, — God  as  the  Redeemer, 
the  propitiatory  sacrifice, — all  the  teaching  of  God 
that  He  has  given  to  us.  And,  more  than  that,  the 
apostle  Paul  says,  "  We  have  a  righteousness  apart 
from  the  law,"  and  this  righteousness,  apart  from  the 
law,  is  witnessed  not  merely  by  the  prophets,  but  by 
the  law,  and  the  prophets.  Therefore,  that  very  law 
declares  not  merely  that  if  a  man  transgresses  the 
law  he  is  under  a  curse,  but  also  that  there 
is  a  divine  righteousness,  apart  from  any  works, 
given  to  every  one  that  believeth.  It  is  in  this 
sense  that  John  says,  "  The  law  was  given  by  Moses, 
but  grace  and  truth  came  by  Jesus  Christ."  There 
are  thus,  you  see,  two  things  corresponding  to  law. 
The  law  consists  of  two  things.  As  a  covenant 
of  works,  it  is  condemnation.  Grace  came  by  Jesus 
Christ.  As  a  type  of  the  Gospel  it  contains  promises, 
figures,  types,  and  shadows.  By  Jesus  Christ  came 
the  substance  or  the  fulfilment.  Therefore,  in  this 
respect,  although  there  is  a  contrast  between  the  two, 
and  although  the  one  is  only  the  germ  and  the  other 
is  the  fruit,  the  one  the  promise  and  the  other  the 
fulfilment,  yet  the  two  go  together.  But  the  dis- 
tinguishing feature,  and  that  which  will  remain 
as  long  as  the  world  stands,  is  this  :  Moses  and  the 
prophets  have  written  the  books  of  Israel,  and 
the  evangelists  and  apostles  have  written  the  books 
of  the   Church  ;    in   the   one  Jehovah,   in   the   other 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      227 

Jesus  ;  in  the  one  Israel  and  the  nations,  in  the  other 
an  election  from  among  all  nations — not  a  nation  but 
the  body  of  Christ  ;  the  one  pertaining  to  the  earthly, 
the  other  pertaining  to  heaven.  When  you  take 
this  view  you  will'  see  that  Moses  and  the  prophets 
are  not  merely  a  ladder  by  which  we  get  up  to  a 
higher  platform,  and  then  can  do  without  the  ladder  ; 
but  that,  after  they  have  served  the  purpose  of 
explaining  to  you  the  New  Testament  of  Jesus 
Christ,  they  have  a  substantive  importance  and 
position  in  themselves,  which  will  always  continue. 
What  I  aim  at  in  these  lectures  is  to  show  to  you 
that  the  Bible  is  not  an  aggregate  of  literary  pro- 
ductions, but  that  it  is  the  testimony  and  voice  of 
the  living  One  who  is  to  come  again — a  book  of 
history  which  is  not  yet  completed.  And  when  we 
call  the  one  the  book  of  Israel,  you  see  the  Jews 
scattered  among  all  the  nations  of  the  earth — the 
problem  of  their  future  not  yet  solved.  And  when 
we  call  the  other  the  book  of  the  Church,  I  trust 
that  you  feel  that  you  are  members  of  that  vast 
community  which  says,  "  Come,  Lord  Jesus  ;  come 
quickly." 

Now  I  must  pass  on  to  the  next  point.  I  have 
used  many  comparisons  to  show  the  relation  of  the 
one  book  to  the  other,  but  I  will  now  add  a  tenth, 
to  the  nine  that  I  have  already  mentioned,  and  it  is 
this.  A  stereoscope  contains  two  different  aspects 
of  the  same  object,  but  it  is  of  no  use  looking  at  the 
stereoscopic  picture  with  one  eye.  You  must  look  at 
it  with  both  eyes,  and  then  the  figure  will  stand  out 
as  a  solid  plastic  reality.  And  that  is  exactly  the 
way  in  which  Jesus  Christ  stands  out.  When  we 
see    the   view    taken    of    Him    by    Moses    and    the 


22S    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

prophets — as  the  coming  Jehovah — and  when  we 
see  the  view  taken  of  Him  by  the  apostles — as  the 
returning  Jesus — then  we  see  the  historic  reaHty,  for 
we  must  always  study  the  ancient  Scriptures  in  the 
light  of  the  new.  And  as  this  is  a  very  important 
point  in  the  present  day  I  am  going  to  ask  your 
attention  to  the  reasons  which  I  have  for  this  ;  for 
all  our  learned  friends  tell  us  that  we  must  read 
Moses  and  the  prophets,  as  we  read  any  other  book 
of  antiquity,  and  quite  apart  from  the  impressions 
made  upon  us  by  the  words  of  Jesus  and  of  the 
apostles.  Now,  in  the  first  place,  what  I  say  to  this 
is,  that  it  is  very  irrational  and  unphilosophical  from 
our  point  of  view.  A  few  years  ago  I  was  reading 
the  works  of  Schopenhauer,  the  great  German 
Buddhist  philosopher.  His  system  of  the  universe 
of  knowledge  and  will,  he  has  embodied  in  two  very 
large  volumes,  and  in  the  preface  he  says,  "  There 
is  only  one  idea  in  these  two  volumes."  He  tried 
to  express  it  as  lucidly  and  as  briefly  as  possible, 
—  and  this  was  the  result.  I  would  ask  your 
special  attention  to  what  he  says.  I  have  translated 
it  from  the  German,  so  you  must  excuse  the  style. 
''  A  system  of  thoughts  must  have  an  architectonic 
structure,  in  which  one  part  supports  the  other,  but  is 
not  supported  by  it.  The  foundation  supports  the 
whole,  but  is  itself  not  supported.  The  top  stone  is 
supported,  but  it  supports  nothing."  That  is  one 
style  of  book.  We  are  first  to  lay  down  a  few 
axioms  or  admitted  positions,  that  have  to  bear  the 
structure  of  the  whole.  Then  you  go  on  :  "  What 
you  put  upon  it  is  supported  by  the  foundation,  but 
does  not  support  the  foundation.  But  there  is 
another  kind  of  book  which  is  this.      A  work  con- 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      229 

sisting  of  one  idea,  however  comprehensive,  must 
possess  perfect  unity.  It  may  consist  of  parts,  but 
they  must  be  organically  connected,  so  that  each 
part  supports  the  whole  and  is  supported  by  the 
whole.  No  part  is,  so  to  say,  first,  and  no  part  is 
last.  The  whole  is  illustrated  by  every  minute  part, 
and  even  the  smallest  part  cannot  be  rightly  under- 
stood unless  the  whole  has  been  comprehended." 
What  he  means  is  this  :  "  If  a  work  consists  of  one 
idea,  although  that  one  idea  is  very  comprehensive  and 
has  many  ramifications,  then  the  only  way  in  which 
it  can  be  set  forth  is  as  an  organism.  The  whole 
idea  will  be  in  every  part.  The  beginning  cannot 
be  properly  understood  unless  you  know  also  the 
end.  The  smaller  and  less  important  parts  cannot  be 
properly  understood  unless  ^you  know  the  whole. 
They  throw  light  upon  the  whole,  as  the  whole 
throws  light  upon  them.  In  this  case  nothing  can 
be  done  "  (now  listen  to  this)  "  but  to  read  the  book 
twice,  and  the  first  time  with  much  patience,  which 
can  only  be  obtained  by  a  freely  granted  confidence 
that  the  beginning  presupposes  the  end,  as  much  as 
the  end  presupposes  the  beginning,  and  the  earlier 
part  the  later.  Although  each  part  may  be  as 
clearly  expressed  as  is  possible,  yet  its  relation  to 
the  whole  cannot  be  seen  at  first.  When  you  read 
it  the  second  time,  all  will  appear  in  clear  light." 
When  I  read  this  preface  some  years  ago,  I  said, 
"  That  man  has  exactly  explained  the  philosophy  of 
the  Bible."  The  Holy  Ghost  inspired  the  book.  God 
is  the  Author  of  the  book.  You  must  read  it  the  first 
time  with  a  full  conviction  that  you  can  understand 
it  only  partially,  for  it  is  organically  united.  He,  by 
whom  the  first  three  chapters  of  Genesis  were  inspired 


230    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

saw  in  His  mind,  the  three  last  chapters  of  the  book 
of  Revelation.  "  God  who  at  sundry  times  and 
in  divers  manners  spake  unto  the  fathers  by  the 
prophets  hath,  in  these  last  days,  spoken  unto  us  by 
his  Son."  And  therefore  when  we  have  read  the 
whole,  and  when  we  have  got  the  solution  and  the 
key  in  the  New  Testament,  then  we  must  return 
again  to  the  book  of  Genesis  and  read  Moses  and 
the  prophets,  in  the  light  that  God  has  given  us 
throughout.  The  same  Author  ;  every  minute  part 
illustrated  by  the  whole  ;  the  whole  shedding  light 
upon  every  minute  part.  Were,  then,  the  apostles 
right  in  their  method  ?  Let  us  go  back  to  the 
Lord.  He  opened  their  understanding  that  they 
might  understand  the  Scriptures.  He  explained 
unto  them  His  own  person  and  His  own  history 
beginning  at  Moses — that  through  sufferings  He 
must  enter  into  glory.  These  dear  apostles,  even 
while  they  were  seeing  Jesus  and  beholding  the 
things  of  Scripture  fulfilled,  did  not  understand 
the  Scripture.  Why  did  they  not  understand 
the  Scripture  ?  They  knew  Hebrew,  as  well  as 
any  Hebrew  scholar  of  the  present  day.  What 
made  them  not  understand  the  Scripture  ?  Because 
the  Holy  Ghost  was  not  given,  and  Christ  had  not 
yet  risen. 

I  will  give  you  a  second  reason,  and  that  second 
reason  quite  as  strong  and  as  cogent  as  the  first.  I 
must  say  again  that  the  Bible  is  not  a  literary 
production.  The  Bible  is  part  of  God's  dealings 
with  Israel  and  with  the  Church.  Therefore  every 
portion  of  Scripture,  as  it  first  appeared,  had  already 
an  audience  prepared  for  it,  a  circle  of  readers  who 
were  under  the  divine  training,  and  the  circumstances. 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      231 

in  which  they  hved,  gave  them  the  key  to  under- 
stand the  books,  which  were  sent  to  them.  Now, 
the  readers  of  the  five  books  of  Moses  were  still  in 
circumstances,  which  made  it  suitable  that  they 
should  have  nothing  else  but  the  five  books  of 
Moses.  The  readers,  on  the  other  hand,  of  the 
Gospel  knew  already  that  Jesus  was  the  Son  of  God, 
and  the  Saviour.  It  was  to  those  who,  through  the 
apostles,  had  obtained  the  knowledge  of  Christ  that 
the  Gospel  record  was  sent.  Before  Christ  came,  of 
course,  the  Jews  could  do  nothing  else  but  read 
Moses  and  the  prophets.  They  had  no  more.  But 
now  remember  that  Christ  has  come  ;  Jerusalem  is 
destroyed  ;  the  temple  has  vanished.  There  is  no 
more,  the  high-priest  going  into  the  Holy  of  Holies  on 
the  day  of  atonement.  Paschal  lambs  are  no  longer 
offered.  The  whole  Levitical  dispensation  has  dis- 
appeared. Israel  is  no  longer  in  their  own  land. 
The  circumstances  in  which  the  Jews  now  read  the 
Old  Testament  prevent  their  understanding  the  Old 
Testament,  without  their  acceptance  of  the  New.  It 
is  impossible  that  they  should  understand  the  Old 
Testament.  Why  ?  Because  of  its  not  being  a  mere 
literary  production,  but  the  address  of  the  living  God 
to  His  people,  in  accordance  with  the  circumstances 
and  stage  of  history  in  which  they  are  ;  and  that 
stage  of  history,  when  the  old  scriptures  were  given, 
having  passed  away,  it  is  impossible  that  they  should 
understand  Moses  and  the  prophets, — and  the  fact 
has  corroborated  this.  They  do  not  understand 
them.  I  have  shown  you  before,  that  the  very  idea 
of  God  has  been  changed  in  the  Jewish  synagogue  ; 
that,  instead  of  His  being  a  living,  condescending, 
self-communicating,   friendly,  redeeming   God,  He   is 


232    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

regarded  as  an  abstract  conception  of  unity.  The 
whole  idea  of  the  law  has  been  changed.  As  the 
apostle  says,  the  law  is  spiritual,  but  with  the  Jews 
the  law  has  become  a  conglomeration  of  ceremonies, 
a  number  of  precepts  and  injunctions.  The  feeling 
of  the  necessity  of  propitiation,  of  atonement,  has 
vanished  altogether,  because,  for  eighteen  centuries, 
nothing  has  reminded  them  of  sacrifice  ;  and,  to 
accommodate  themselves  to  their  circumstances,  they 
have  changed  the  idea  of  sacrifice,  into  the  mere  offer- 
ing of  thankfulness.  The  expectation  of  the  Messiah 
also  has  disappeared,  for,  seeing  that  He  came  at  the 
time  when,  according  to  the  prophets,  He  must  have 
come, — and  seeing  that  the  Christians  have  always 
applied  and  urged  these  predictions,  they  have  been 
obliged  to  invent  other  interpretations,  in  which  the 
idea  of  the  personal  Messiah  altogether  departs 
into  the  background.  A  burnt  child  dreads  the 
fire,  and  if  the  whole  Jewish  nation,  with  all  their 
Hebrew  learning,  and  with  all  the  instinctive 
understanding  which,  after  all,  is  still  in  their 
blood,  have,  for  eighteen  centuries,  misinterpreted 
the  Old  Testament  because  they  will  not  consider 
it,  in  the  light  of  the  New  Testament,  I  have 
no  hope  of  the  Gentiles  understanding  the  Old 
Testament,  without  the  New  Testament  ;  for  if 
we  do  not  go  to  the  Old  Testament  with  the 
light,  and  the  ideas  of  the  historical  facts,  furnished 
to  us  in  the  New,  let  no  man  imagine,  for  that 
reason,  that  we  go  to  it  as  little  children,  without 
any  conceptions,  prejudices,  oppositions,  and  theories 
of  our  own.  The  practice  of  the  Church  of  Christ 
from  the  beginning,  based  upon  the  example  of 
Christ    and    the    prophets,   is    binding    upon    us    as 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED     233 

Christians,  commends  itself  to  us  as  thinkers,  and 
is  ratified  and  corroborated  by  the  experience  of 
the  Jews. 

The  last  topic  I  can  only  briefly  allude  to,  and 
it  is  this.  The  ancient  books  and  the  new  books, 
the  book  of  Israel  and  the  book  of  the  Church, 
have  exactly  the  same  structure.  No  twins  could 
be  more  alike,  in  figure  and  in  feature.  It  is 
God  who  is  the  beginning,  who  redeems,  who 
teaches,  who  guides,  who  commands  ;  first  come 
the  manifestations  of  God  in  creation,  in  the 
promise  of  redemption,  in  the  election  of  Abra- 
ham, in  the  bringing  of  Israel  out  of  Egypt,  in  the 
planting  of  the  tabernacle,  and  of  the  whole  Levitical 
dispensation — the  mighty  acts,  words,  institutions, 
gifts,  and  promises  vouchsafed  by  God  through  Moses. 
That  is  the  foundation.  After  that  there  comes 
the  history, — how  these  promises  were  carried  out 
into  actual  reality  and  appropriated  by  the  nation, — 
with  all  their  backslidings.  This  is  in  the  so-called 
historical  books,  or,  as  the  Jews  rail  them,  the  earlier 
prophets.  Then  there  is  in  the  book  of  Psalms  the 
response  of  the  believer  to  what  God  has  said, — 
then,  the  promise  of  the  fulfilment  and  consumma- 
tion of  all  God's  purposes  in  the  prophets.  The 
order  is  the  same  in  the  New  Testament.  F'irst 
comes,  not  what  men  think  about  God,  but  the 
incarnation,  the  history  of  Christ  on  earth.  His 
death,  resurrection,  and  ascension,  the  four  gospels, 
just  like  the  five  books  of  Moses.  Then  there 
comes  the  history  of  how  this  was  appropriated  and 
actually  carried  out,  the  book  of  Acts,  the  planting 
of  the  Church  in  Israel,  the  planting  of  the  Church 
among  the  Gentiles,  and  the  response  of  believers  to 


234    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

what  is  revealed,  given  in  the  various  epistles,  so  that 
the  epistles,  to  a  certain  extent,  take  the  position 
of  the  Psalms — as  the  response  of  faith  unto  the 
great  things  of  God.  And  then  at  last  there  comes 
the  Apocalypse,  showing  how  all  the  promises  will 
be  fulfilled.      This  is  the  first  point. 

The  second  point  is  this.  In  both  Testaments,  the 
beginning  contains  in  germ  everything  that  follows. 
Here  we  come  to  Schopenhauer's  idea.  All  that  is  in 
the  later  historical  books  and  in  the  prophets,  is  in  the 
five  books  of  Moses ;  and  all  that  is  in  the  Acts  and 
in  the  epistles  and  in  the  Apocalypse,  is  also  in  the 
four  gospels.  And  the  position  of  Moses  as  an  indi- 
vidual, as  the  person,  as  the  man  that  wrote  the 
books,  is  most  important,  for  he  is  not  like  any 
other  prophet.  It  is  perfectly  indifferent  who  wrote 
the  2nd  book  of  Samuel  or  the  Chronicles,  but  it  is 
not  indifferent  who  wrote  the  five  books  of  Moses. 
Moses  wrote  them  ;  for  this  Moses  is  not  merely  a 
law-giver  ;  he  is  not  merely  a  prophet ;  he  is  every- 
thing in  one  person.  He  is  the  human  mediator 
upon  whom  the  whole  structure  of  the  Jewish  history 
and  of  the  teaching  of  God  in  Israel  rests.  And  in 
the  books  of  Moses  you  find  everything.  There  is 
no  prophecy  given  by  the  later  prophets  which  is 
not  already  contained  in  the  books  of  Moses — as, 
for  instance,  that  Israel  shall  be  called  back  from 
all  the  ends  of  the  earth,  and  by  the  grace  and 
spirit  of  God  become  again  His  people,  and  that  all 
families  of  the  earth  shall  be  blessed  in  the  seed  of 
Abraham,  and  that  God  shall  finally  bruise  Satan 
under  our  feet,  when  the  Lord  comes.  All  are  in 
the  books  of  Moses.  And  in  the  same  way  the 
gospels    contain   all   the    teaching,    afterwards    more 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      235 

fully   developed,   and    all    the   predictions   which   are 
in  the  subsequent  parts,  namely,  the  epistles,  etc. 

The  third  thing  is  this.  Strictly  speaking,  all  those 
elements  are  in  all  the  books  of  Scripture  ;  that  is  to 
say,  there  are  no  books  of  which  we  can  say,  "  These 
are  simply  historical  "  ;  or  books  of  which  we  can 
say,  "  These  are  simply  prophetical  "  ;  or  books  of 
which  we  can  say,  "  These  are  simply  lyrical "  ;  but 
all  the  books,  and  everything  as  I  have  said,  united 
together,  planted  together,  wrought  in  together,  with 
the  most  exquisite  harmony — not  with  the  harmony 
which  we  see  in  a  book  of  genius,  although  that  is  a 
kind  of  illustration,  but  with  the  harmony  which  we 
see  in  everything,  on  which  God  has  breathed  the 
breath  of  life.  "  Consider  the  lilies  of  the  field." 
Why?  Because  God  has  clothed  them,  and  there- 
fore their  beauty  is  iimch  greater  than  anything, 
which  architecture  or  art  of  any  kind  can  produce. 
The  books  of  Moses  are  history ;  the  books  of 
Moses  are  teaching  ;  the  books  of  Moses  are  pro- 
phecy. The  Psalms  are  not  merely  prayers,  but 
prophecy.  In  the  books  of  the  prophets  we  have 
history.  Thus,  in  the  prophet  Isaiah,  the  history  of 
Hezekiah  ;  in  the  prophet  Jeremiah,  the  history  of 
his  own  days ;  in  the  prophet  Daniel  the  history 
of  God's  manifestations,  at  the  court  of  the  pagan 
monarchs.  And  so  it  is  also  in  the  other  Book.  The 
gospels  contain  history  and  teaching  and  response, 
like  the  psalms  of  Mary  and  of  Zacharias  and  of 
Simeon.  And  as  to  prophecy — the  epistles  are  full 
of  prophecy,  until,  at  last,  all  the  prophecy  of  the 
later  scripture  culminates  in  the  Apocalypse,  as  the 
former  scriptures  had  done  in  Daniel,  the  man  greatly 
beloved,  in    whose  book  not  merely   Israel's    future 


236    THE  BOOKS  OF  ISRAEL  AND  OF  THE  CHURCH 

is  predicted,  but  the  future  of  the  whole  world  ; — 
so  all  the  scattered  prophecy  in  the  gospels  and 
the  epistles,  and  in  the  whole  preceding  scripture,  cul- 
minates in  that  book  which,  in  the  latter  days,  as  it 
was  in  the  first  ages  of  the  Church,  will  become  the 
beloved  book  of  the  Church — the  revelation  which 
God  gave  to  His  Son  Jesus  Christ. 

And  now  let  me  just  say  one  word  about  our 
Lord's  return.  Oh,  not  as  a  question  of  exegesis, 
not  as  a  topic  of  polemic  discussion,  does  it  behove 
us  to  speak  of  this  great,  solemn,  and  most  blessed 
hope.  "  Surely  I  come  quickly."  Of  all  announce- 
ments of  Scripture  it  is  the  one  that  most  stirs 
up  the  depths  of  our  conscience  and  of  our 
heart.  Sometimes,  when  we  feel  overwhelmed  with 
a  sense  of  our  sin,  unworthiness,  and  unfaithfulness, 
the  question  arises,  "  And  am  I  one  of  the  wise 
virgins  who  have  oil  in  their  lamps,  and  shall  I  be 
numbered  among  those  that  arc  ready  to  go  in  when 
the  Bridegroom  comes  ?  "  And  at  other  times  when, 
by  the  grace  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  the  Holy 
Spirit  bears  witness  with  our  spirits  that  we  are  the 
sons  of  God,  the  solemnity  is  even  more  overwhelm- 
ing in  its  sweetness  and  blessedness.  And  is  it  pos- 
sible that  He,  whom  having  not  seen  we  love,  shall 
be  at  last  seen  by  us  face  to  face — that  we  shall 
see  Him  as  He  is — not  as  at  present,  by  laboriously 
combining  all  the  different  aspects  of  His  wonderful 
person  and  work,  but  by  a  glance,  by  an  immediate 
vision,  by  the  complete  and  comprehensive  under- 
standing of  our  enlarged  and  glorified  faculties,  be- 
hold Him  as  He  is,  and  be  like  Him  ?  Meanwhile, 
to  us  who  have  this  hope,  and  who  by  this  hope  are 
entirely  separated  from  the  present  age — not  merely 


SHOWN  TO  BE  ORGANICALLY  CONNECTED      237 

in  its  wickedness,  but  also  in  its  pretended  goodness  ; 
not  merely  in  its  frivolity,  but  also  in  its  wisdom  and 
in  its  culture — unto  us  poor,  isolated,  unknown,  and 
enigmatic  people  there  is  the  Word  of  God,  the  holy 
and  beloved  Scriptures  of  the  prophets  and  of,  the 
apostles  ;  and  ye  do  well  to  take  heed  to  them  as 
unto  a  light  shining  in  a  dark  place,  until  you  see 
the  bright  morning  star ;  and  when  that  morning 
star  comes,  soon  shall  the  Sun  of  Righteousness  rise 
with  healing  in  His  wings,  to  bring  us  gladness, 
strength,  and  power  to  glorify  God,  and  to  reign 
with  the  Lord  Jesus  on  the  earth.      Amen. 


XII 


OUR    FAITH    BASED    ON    FACTS— AND    THE   BIBLE   A 
BOOK   OF   FACTS 

All  the  things  we  believe  and  hope  for  based  on  actual  facts — The 
name  Jehovah  itself  speaks  not  only  of  the  being  of  God  but  of 
His  having  become  the  God  of  History,  and  also  the  God  that  is 
coming — The  Bible  connected  with  all  branches  of  knowledge — 
The  true  idiom  of  history  acquired  from  the  Bible — Ranke  on  the 
loth  chapter  of  Genesis — The  programme  of  history  given  in  the 
Bible — Daniel's  interpretation  of  Nebuchadnezzar's  dream — The 
reality  of  the  history  of  the  Old  Testament — It  professes  to  be 
actual  history — Difficulty  regarding  it  to  those  who  do  not  believe 
in  God,  as  the  living  God  —  Nothing  about  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob  of  a  mythical  type — It  is  human  history  with  its  light  and 
darkness, — intensely  human  and  natural — It  is  simple  and  plain, 
without  embellishment,  eloquent  only  in  the  unadorned  eloquence 
of  facts — It  is  condemnatory  of  the  nation  among  whom  it 
appeared — There  is  no  hero-worship  —  It  hides  nothing  of  the 
sins  of  those  most  commended — The  testimony  and  truth  of  the 
genealogies — Recent  confirmations — Evidence  of  veracity  of  Bible 
history  accumulating  every  day. 

There  are  two  points  which  I  wish  to  bring  before 
you  this  morning — that  the  Scripture  history  supplies 
us  with  the  facts  and  principles,  upon  which  all  true 
philosophical  and  universal  history  is  based.  And 
the  second  point  is  this — that  the  history,  recorded 
in  the  books  of  Moses,  and  of  the  other  writers,  of  the 
ancient  dispensation,  contains  actual  and  real  history. 
In  my  last  lecture  I  endeavoured  to  show  why 
it    is    that    we    cannot    understand    Moses    and    the 


OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS 


239 


prophets,  without  the  apostolic  Hght  of  the  gospels 
and  the  epistles, — and  to  this  I  wish  only  to  add 
one  remark.  Nothing  can  be  said  in  stronger  terms, 
concerning  the  evangelical  history  of  the  ancient 
Scriptures,  than  the  simple  remark  which  the  apostle 
Paul  made  to  Timothy,  that  the  Scriptures  "  are  able 
to  make  thee  wise  unto  salvation,  through  faith  which 
is  in  Christ  Jesus."  And  although  there  are  many 
things,  both  in  the  ancient  history  and  in  the  ancient 
prophecy,  which  will  be  fully  explained  and  mani- 
fested, only  at  the  second  coming  of  our  blessed 
Saviour,  still,  as  we  are  told  both  by  the  apostle 
Paul  and  by  the  apostle  Peter,  the  whole  Old  Testa- 
ment was  written,  in  order  that  it  may  be  understood 
by  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  who  live  in  the  latter 
days,  and  unto  whom  there  has  been  granted  the 
privilege  of  seeing  the  fulfilment  of  God's  promise  ; 
for  so  the  apostle  Peter  says  with  regard  to  prophecy 
— that  through  suffering  the  Messiah  should  enter 
into  that  glory, — that  it  was  revealed  to  the  prophets 
that  not  to  themselves,  but  to  us,  they  did  testify  of 
these  things.  And  of  the  ancient  history,  the 
apostle  Paul  declares  in  his  epistle  to  the  Romans 
that  all  these  things  happened  for  our  example,  and 
were  written  for  our  admonition,  upon  whom  the 
ends  of  the  world  have  come.  Seeing,  therefore, 
that  we  have  the  fulness  of  the  Gospel  light,  and 
that  there  have  been  manifested  to  us  these  histories, 
it  is  for  us  to  enter  into  the  consideration  of  Moses 
and  the  prophets,  in  the  full  assurance  and  expecta- 
tion, that  the  Holy  Ghost  has  there  treasured  up  for 
us,  all  that  is  profitable  and  needful  for  our  instruction 
and  guidance,  in  connection  with  that  fuller  develop- 
ment of  history  and  teaching,  which  we  now  possess. 


240  OUR  FAITH  BASED   ON  FACTS — 

A  combination  of  history,  teaching,  prophecy, 
with  the  subjective  response  of  the  congregation,  both 
in  works  of  reflection  and  in  the  lyrical  outpourings 
of  their  feelings,  is  something  altogether  unique  ;  and 
it  is  a  combination  which  corresponds  to  all  the 
different  wants  and  necessities  of  mankind,  as  they 
arise  in  the  course  of  centuries  ;  and,  while  it  corre- 
sponds with  our  need,  it  is  the  only  kind  of  book  of 
revelation,  worthy  of  Him  from  whom  it  emanates. 
Ideas  without  facts  make  up  a  philosophy.  Facts 
without  ideas  may  make  up  a  history.  But  that 
which  we  need  is  something  which  appeals  not  merely 
to  our  intellect,  but  also  to  our  conscience  and  to 
our  heart,  and  that  which  so  appeals  must  be  the 
revelation  of  God.  And,  if  it  is  the  revelation  of 
God,  it  can  only  be  the  revelation  of  God,  coming 
down  out  of  His  infinite  eternity,  into  our  time  and 
into  our  space.  It  must  record  the  initiative,  creative, 
and  redemptive  acts  of  the  Most  High  ;  and,  in  re- 
cording these  acts,  it  must  contain  a  revelation  of 
His  character,  and  of  His  purpose,  of  His  command- 
ments concerning  us,  and  of  the  promises,  by  which 
He  sustains  us.  And  only  in  Scripture  have  we 
such  a  combination.  All  Scripture  facts  are  full  of 
ideas.  So  to  speak  they  are  full  of  eyes,  and  light 
shines  to  us  in  them.  And  all  Scripture  ideas,  the 
things  which  we  believe  and  the  things  which  we 
hope  for,  are  based  upon  actual  facts — manifestations 
of  the  Most  High.  If  a  Christian  is  asked,  "What 
is  your  belief?  what  is  your  faith?"  he  does  not 
answer  by  enumerating  dogmas,  in  the  sense  of 
abstract  philosophical  truths  ;  but  he  answers  by 
saying  that  he  believes  in  God  who  created,  in  God 
who  became  incarnate,  and  died,  and  rose  again,  and 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  241 

in  God  who  sent  the  Holy  Ghost  to  renew  his 
heart.  So  what  is  our  creed  but  facts,  but  such 
facts  as  are  full  of  light, — and  in  which  God  manifests 
Himself  to  us  ? 

Again,  the  name  of  God,  and  that  name,  which 
we  should  not  know  without  the  Bible,  is  "  Jehovah  " ; 
and  "  Jehovah "  has  this  meaning — first,  that  He 
is  sovereign,  self- subsisting,  and  eternal  ;  but, 
secondly,  that  He  has  become  the  God  of  history, 
and  is  in  history  ;  and,  thirdly,  that  He  is  the  God 
who  is  coming,  who  is  fulfilling  His  promises,  and 
who  will  consummate  all  the  counsel  which  was  in 
Him  in  eternity.  And  as  this  simple  name,  Jehovah, 
contains  all  Scripture  history,  all  Scripture  teach- 
ing, and  all  Scripture  prophecy,  so  the  people  who 
accept  this  name  "  Jehovah  "iive  in  the  past,  and 
in  the  present,  and  in  the  future.  To  live  merely 
in  the  past  by  memory  is  a  kind  of  death,  in  which 
there  is  no  activity,  but  simply  regret.  To  live 
merely  in  the  present,  without  remembering  the  past 
and  looking  forward  to  the  future,  is  unworthy  of  man, 
who  was  created  in  the  image  of  God.  To  think 
merely  of  the  future  is  simply  a  work  of  imagina- 
tion and  reverie.  But  past,  present,  and  future, 
— Jehovah  who  was,  Jehovah  who  is,  and  Jehovah 
who  is  to  come — this  is  what  fills  up  the  whole  of 
man.  He  lives  by  memory ;  he  lives  by  present 
communion  ;  he  lives  by  hope  ;  and  all  the  saints  of 
God  from  Enoch,  the  seventh  from  Adam,  until  those 
who  shall  be  alive  at  Christ's  coming,  remember  the 
merciful  deeds  of  God  in  the  past,  live  in  com- 
munion with  the  present-living  God,  and  look  for- 
ward to  the  glorious  consummation  of  God's  purposes. 
So  all    Scripture    must    be    viewed    in    the    light    of 


242  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

history  ;  and  in  this  history, — teaching,  prophecy,  and 
the  response  of  the  congregation  are  comprehended. 

The  Bible  is  a  book  separate  from  all  other  books, 
and  high  above  all  other  books.  That  is  quite  true. 
On  the  other  hand,  the  Bible  is  connected  with  all 
other  books  in  the  world  ;  and,  as  all  things  must 
work  together  for  good  to  them  that  love  God,  so 
all  books  that  are  written,  even  those  that  are  written 
against  the  Bible,  contribute  to  the  corroboration 
and  to  the  illustration  of  the  Scriptures.  Joseph 
was  considered  a  dreamer  and  very  ambitious,  and 
yet,  after  all,  his  dream  was  fulfilled  that  all  the 
sheaves  of  his  brethren  did  obeisance  before  his  sheaf. 
And  thus  is  it  that  all  books  that  ever  were  written,  on 
whatever  subject,  must  contribute  to  show  forth  that 
Scripture  is  the  book  of  books.  As  a  French  socialist 
who  had  no  faith  in  Scripture  has  said, "  It  is  a  strange 
thing  that  we  cannot  think  on  any  subject  but  in  a 
few  minutes  we  come  to  theology." 

So  far,  then,  from  granting  that  Scripture  does 
not  encourage  the  cultivation  of  our  faculties,  and 
the  zealous  investigation  of  truth  in  all  its  different 
departments,  we  see  that  Scripture  is  the  very  basis 
upon  which  all  activity  of  mind  is  founded,  and  that 
all  books  are  written  in  order  that  this  one  book 
may  be  understood ;  for  there  is  no  book  in  the 
world  which  so  encourages  the  use  of  our  reason,  and 
the  active  employment  of  all  the  mental  faculties 
that  God  has  bestowed  upon  us.  It  sets  a  high  value 
on  knowledge,  and  it  continually  counsels  us  to  get 
wisdom.  As  a  revelation  addressing  itself  to  man, 
an  intellectual  and  responsible  being,  it  at  once 
quickens  all  his  powers,  and  wherever  the  Bible  has 
been,  human  knowledge  has  made  progress. 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  243 

Although  the  Bible  does  not  interfere  in  any  way, 
with  all  those  different  branches  of  knowledge  with 
which  man  is  occupied,  it  connects  itself  with  them 
all.  No  book  in  the  world  exhibits  such  a  love 
of  nature,  such  a  diligent  and  careful  observation 
of  nature,  as  Scripture  —  such  is  the  testimony  of 
Alexander  Von  Humboldt, — and  yet  Scripture  does 
not  come  into  conflict  or  collision  with  any  inves- 
tigation or  with  any  intellectual  activity, — defining 
exactly  the  limits  which  must  be  assigned  to  them, 
and  reserving  for  itself  that  special  place  which,  as 
a  revelation  from  God,  belongs  to  it. 

In  my  next  lecture,  when  I  have  to  speak  on 
the  miraculous  character  of  Scripture,  I  shall  en- 
deavour to  show  that  this  applies  especially  to 
science,  and  that  not  merely  is  there  no  collision 
between  Scripture  and  science,  but  that  without 
the  scriptural  idea  of  God  and  this  world,  and  of 
this  world  forming  one  whole  or  cosmos,  there  would 
be  no  legitimate  and  thorough  foundation,  upon  which 
science  could  build  its  superstructure.  To-day  my 
subject  is  rather  with  regard  to  history. 

The  Bible  history  is  peculiar.  It  is  a  theological 
history.  The  selection  of  evidence,  and  the  way  in 
which  the  evidences  are  narrated,  show  that  all  the 
historical  books  were  written  by  men  of  the  prophetic 
spirit.  It  aims  at  illustrating  God's  dealings  with 
men.  It  desires  to  show  how  the  salvation  which 
is  in  Jesus  Christ  was  prepared.  It  wishes  to  lay 
down  all  the  threads  which  are  to  be  taken  up,  when 
the  whole  counsel  of  God  shall  be  fulfilled. 

But  although  the  Scripture  pursues  its  method  thus, 
it  throws  light  upon  history  in  general.  What  is 
history  ?     There  is  a  very  natural  tendency  of  man  to 


244  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS — 

write  down  events  which  strike  him  as  remarkable. 
It  is  a  natural  thing  for  a  family  to  keep  a  chronicle 
or  a  diary  of  things  that  happen,  and  to  preserve 
genealogies.  The  Egyptians  could  not  allow  any- 
thing remarkable  to  pass,  without  writing  down  an 
accurate  description  of  it.  There  is  a  chronicle 
style  of  history  which  we  trace  in  most  ancient 
nations  —  exceedingly  tiresome,  because  there  is 
constant  repetition,  which,  in  the  course  of  centuries, 
becomes  endless — dynasty  succeeding  dynasty,  war 
following  upon  war,  and  the  different  vicissitudes  and 
the  different  developments  of  various  branches,  barely 
recorded.  The  Romans  and  the  Greeks  had  a  higher 
style  of  history,  yet,  after  all,  the  Romans  and  the 
Greeks  did  not  reach  the  true  method  of  history,  for 
in  the  true  method  of  history,  it  is  necessary  that  the 
whole  human  race  should  be  regarded  as  forming  one 
family, — and  the  ancient  nations  had  not  this  idea  at 
all.  They  thought  that,  in  the  various  countries  of 
which  they  had  any  knowledge,  the  inhabitants,  as 
it  were,  had  sprung  out  of  the  earth,  and  that  they 
were  not  connected  with  the  nations  of  other 
countries,  so  that  the  Greeks  looked  down  upon  all 
the  rest  of  the  world  as  barbarians,  and  the  Romans 
looked  down  upon  all  the  rest  of  the  world,  as  people 
to  be  subjugated  to  their  empire.  The  true  idea 
of  history  as  it  lives  now  among  us,  even  among 
people  who  do  not  know  whence  they  have  obtained 
that  idea,  is  this — that  humanity  is  a  unity,  and 
that  events  not  merely  succeed  each  other  with 
constant  iteration,  but  that  there  is  a  purpose  in 
them  ;  in  fact,  that  history  leads  to  some  goal  and 
to  some  end.  And  also  we  have  got  this  idea,  that 
it  would   be  altogether  impossible  and  unprofitable 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  245 

simply  to  chronicle  all  the  events  which  happen 
to  all  the  different  nations  and  tribes  of  the 
earth,  and  that  our  great  object  is  to  select  those  1 
nations,  and  to  select  those  events,  which  stand,  in 
direct  and  vital  connection,  with  the  whole  stream  of 
history,  and  which  contribute  something  to  the  de- 
velopment of  the  whole  race.  During  the  last  years 
there  has  appeared  a  history  which  has  astonished 
and  delighted  the  civilised  world.  The  veteran  his- 
torian, Ranke,  has  attempted  to  write  a  world-history 
— a  history  of  history,  selecting  only  those  nations, 
and,  in  those  nations,  only  those  events  and  movements, 
which  have  contributed  to  the  general  history  ;  but 
whence  did  Ranke  and  all  other  modern  historians 
get  that  idea,  but  from  the  Bible  ?  Mark  this  :  from 
the  Bible  :  nowhere  else.  I  had  occasion  to  quote  to 
you  the  words  of  a  great  man  of  science — that  the  ' 
beginning  and  the  end  of  things  are  both  absolutely 
hidden  to  science.  Science  has  to  do  with  pheno- 
mena, but  the  beginning  of  things  and  the  end  of  things 
are  both  absolutely  untouchable  by  science.  The  same 
may  be  said  of  history  ;  and  yet,  unless  we  know 
the  beginning  of  our  race,  the  unity  of  our  race,  and 
that  all  the  different  nations  of  the  world  are  related 
to  one  another,  how  is  it  possible  for  us  to  conceive  ' 
the  idea  of  a  world-history  ?  Again,  unless  we  have 
the  idea  of  providence, — of  God,  who  sees  the  end 
from  the  beginning,  who  guides  and  overrules  things 
for  His  own  glory,  and  for  the  good  of  humanity — 
it  is  a  hopeless  thing  to  read  history.  It  leads  to 
nothing.  It  is  like  a  vessel  that  is  drifting,  tossed 
to  and  fro  by  the  waves  of  the  sea,  without  having 
some  one  to  guide  it,  and  bring  it  to  its  appointed 
CToal. 


246  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

But,  thirdly,  what  is  that  end,  and  what  is  that 
goal  ?  What  a  curious  thing  it  is  that  before 
geography  had  made  any  great  progress,  the  Bible 
anticipated  that  the  whole  earth  would  be  inhabited, 
that  the  uttermost  ends  of  the  earth  would  be 
peopled,  and  that  the  whole  earth  would  be  united 
in  the  knowledge  and  worship  of  one  God,  and  in 
righteousness,  and  in  prosperity.  You  remember 
that  Moses  said,  that  when  the  Most  High  divided 
to  the  sons  of  Adam  their  inheritance.  He  did  it 
according  to  the  number  of  the  children  of  Israel. 
And  this  is  the  very  thing  that  the  apostle  Paul 
preached  to  the  Athenians  —  the  philosophy  of 
history.  He  says,  "  God  has  made  of  one  blood 
all  the  nations  of  the  earth  " — not,  as  you  imagine, 
that  you  Athenians  are  of  a  different  blood  from  the 
barbarians.  Not  merely  has  He  done  this,  but  He 
fixed  the  bounds  of  their  habitations,  as  well  as 
regulated  the  different  periods  and  epochs  of  their 
history.  Here  you  have  a  chronology,  and  here 
you  have  a  geography,  and  here  you  have  a  teleology 
which  is  of  that  purpose  or  aim,  that  alone  gives  eyes 
to  history.  Without  it,  history  would  be  like  a  body 
without  eyes.      Is  it  not  a  wonderful  thing  ? 

And  as  for  the  beginning  of  the  human  race,  no 
inquiring  mind,  no  lover  of  humanity,  no  enthusiastic 
pursuer  of  history,  can  rest  satisfied  without  asking 
himself  the  question  :  What  was  the  beginning  of  the 
human  race  ?  All  things  in  both  physiology  and 
ethnology,  as  well  as  in  all  the  sciences  which  bear 
upon  the  subject,  confirm  the  idea  of  the  unity  of  the 
human  race,  and  also  that  all  human  language  was 
originally  one.  Max  Miiller  has  often  asserted  that 
the  more  languages  are  examined,  notwithstanding 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  247 

all  their  diversity,  the  more  it  is  seen  that  they 
consist  of  a  very  few  elementary  roots,  and  that  they 
must  all  have  originated  in  one  common  source ; 
and  as  another  philologer  says,  it  is  just  as  when 
an  earthquake  has  come,  and  has  broken  up  what 
formerly  was  one  continuous  mass :  you  see  the 
parts  are  diverse,  but  you  see  that  they  formerly 
were  a  unity. 

The  loth  chapter  of  the  book  of  Genesis  is  a 
very  remarkable  chapter.  Before  God  leaves,  as  it 
were,  the  nations  to  themselves,  and  begins  to  deal 
with  Israel,  His  chosen  people  from  Abraham  down- 
wards. He  takes  a  loving  farewell  of  all  the  nations 
of  the  earth,  as  much  as  to  say,  "  I  am  going  to 
leave  you  for  a  while,  but  I  love  you  :  I  have  created 
you  :  I  have  ordered  all  your  future "  ;  and  their 
different  genealogies  are  traced.  Ranke  says  of  this 
chapter,  "  It  is  impossible  to  read  this  chapter  with- 
out seeing,  that  there  is  something  here  different  from 
all  other  history,  and  that  the  national  pride  and 
separation,  which  we  see  everywhere  else,  has  here 
been  entirely  subjugated  by  the  religious  idea,  that 
all  the  different  tribes  of  the  earth  are  related  to  one 
another,  by  their  common  descent  from  Shem,  Ham 
and  Japheth." 

More  than  that.  The  end  of  history  is  given  to 
us  in  Scripture, — and  here  it  is.  Whereas,  as  I  have 
said  before,  the  common  view  of  history  that  is  taken 
in  the  world,  and  taken  also  by  many  Christians,  is 
the  real  reason  why  the  Bible  is  not  believed,  and 
why  many  who  profess  to  believe  the  Bible,  if  they 
knew  what  was  in  the  Bible,  would  also  reject  it. 
But  the  history  of  the  world  is  given  to  us  in 
Scripture,  without   entering   into  the   history   of  the 


248  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

different  nations.  That  was  not  necessary.  For  that 
we  do  not  require  a  revelation — as  to  write  a  history 
of  the  Greeks,  and  of  the  French,  and  of  the  Russians. 
That  we  can  do  ourselves.  But  to  show  us  what 
is  the  programme,  what  is  the  divine  idea,  what  is  the 
real  way  and  purpose  of  this  history — for  that  we  do 
require  the  teaching  of  the  Most  High. 

Now,  this  is  the  history.  From  the  fall  of  Adam 
there  goes  down  a  line  in  which  judgment  succeeds 
judgment.  There  is  also  a  line  in  which  deliverance 
and  grace  succeed  deliverance  and  grace.  The  fall  of 
Adam,  the  banishment  from  Paradise,  the  wickedness 
of  the  world  in  the  days  of  Noah  ;  the  Flood  ;  the 
judgment  on  the  Tower  of  Babel  ;  the  judgment  upon 
Israel  at  the  destruction  of  Jerusalem  ;  the  judgment 
upon  an  apostate  Christendom  and  the  anti-Christ, 
when  our  Lord  comes.  This  is  the  downward  line. 
But  there  is  an  upward  line  of  grace.  There  are  the 
Sethites,  who  called  upon  the  name  of  Jehovah.  In 
the  Flood,  Noah  and  his  household  are  saved  to  form 
the  beginning  of  a  new  period.  After  the  destruction 
of  Babel,  Abraham  is  selected  to  form  again  the 
beginning  of  a  new  period.  After  the  destruction  of 
Jerusalem,  we  have  already  a  church  both  of  Jews  and 
Gentiles  to  form  the  beginning  of  history  till  after  the 
coming  of  Christ,  to  destroy  the  anti-Christ  with  his 
might  and  power,  and  to  judge  the  anti-Christian 
nations.  There  is  the  godly  remnant  of  Israel,  there 
are  the  nations  of  the  earth,  and  there  is  the  Church 
of  Christ,  which  is  transformed  and  with  Christ. 

The  Babylonish  captivity  is  an  event  of  great 
importance  in  God's  plan  of  history.  Babel  at  first 
was  the  human  race  combining  their  own  resources 
of  strength  and  wisdom  and  culture,  for  the  Cajnites 


AAW  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  249 

were  the  beginning  of  culture,  music,  and  art.  It  is 
the  combination  of  humanity,  relying  upon  their  own 
power,  wisdom,  and  culture,  to  form  an  independent 
and  united  organism,  without  God  ;  and  from  that 
day,  Babel  became  a  type  of  the  world-power  as 
opposing  God,  until  at  last  we  read  in  the  book  of 
Revelation,  "  Babylon  is  fallen,  is  fallen." 

Now,  when  Babel  was  judged,  Abraham  rose. 
Again,  when  Israel  was  judged  Babylon  rose.  From 
the  time  that  Israel  was  led  into  captivity,  until  Christ 
comes  again  and  restores  Israel  to  His  own  land,  is 
one  period.  It  is  "  the  times  of  the  Gentiles,"  during 
which  there  is  no  outward  and  visible  theocracy  or 
Christocracy.  This  was  revealed  in  a  dream  to 
Nebuchadnezzar,  which  was  interpreted  by  the  Most 
High  to  Daniel,  the  "  man  greatly  beloved."  And 
here  we  have  an  outline  of  the  whole  history  of  the 
world — gold,  silver,  brass,  iron,  clay.  Outside  this 
seen  world,  there  comes  a  crisis,  and  this  passes  away 
and  there  comes  a  new  crisis.  This  shows  us  the 
outward  character  of  the  world-kingdom,  which,  con- 
trary to  our  usual  idea,  is  not  a  progressive  but  a 
deteriorating  one,  for  the  metals  deteriorate  as  we  go 
on,  by  which  we  are  taught — that  a  nation  which 
is  extremely  civilised  and  advanced  may,  in  God's 
estimation,  be  much  inferior  to  a  nation,  which  is 
only  at  the  beginning  of  this  process.  Civilisation 
is  a  very  good  thing.  That  we  have  railways,  and 
telegraphs,  and  intercourse  between  nation  and  nation, 
is  of  great  importance.  But  though  many  live  by 
those  things,  rely  upon  those  things,  boast  of  those 
things,  and  think  that  these  are  the  kingdom  of 
God,  it  is  perfectly  evident  that  such  is  not  God's 
estimate.     Such  is  not  even  the  verdict  of  history,  for 


250  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

the  most  civilised  nations,  as  Greece  and  Rome, 
perished  by  their  very  civilisation.  The  things  in 
which  the  life  of  a  nation  consists  are  righteousness 
and  justice,  reverence  and  obedience  to  the  sanctity 
of  the  family  life, — and  not  culture.  Let  the  whole 
race  of  Adam  reach  the  highest  point  of  civilisation 
and  unity,  and  it  may  be,  as  the  Colossus,  ready  for 
destruction. 

But  the  7th  chapter  of  Daniel  shows  us  the  in- 
ward character  of  the  world-kingdoms,  namely,  Baby- 
lonian, Persian,  Grseco-Macedonian,  and  lastly  Roman, 
under  which  we  still  live.  They  have  to  be  com- 
pared to  beasts  ;  that  is  to  say,  they  have  not  the 
character  of  humanity.  They  are  strong  ;  they  are 
cunning  ;  they  are  wise  ;  but  they  have  not  the  mind 
and  heart  of  man,  until  the  Son  of  Man  comes  down 
from  heaven,  and  unto  Him  is  given  the  dominion. 
That  is  the  Scripture  sketch  of  history. 

Now  here  I  have  left  out  the  consideration  of  the 
Christian  Church  ;  and  in  Daniel  its  origin  only 
is  left  out.  Do  not  misunderstand  me.  The  Old 
Testament  prophecy  sees  the  first  coming  of  Christ 
clearly,  but  it  sees  it  as  a  point  and  not  as  a  line. 
It  sees  the  second  coming  of  Christ  not  merely  as  a 
point  but  also  as  a  line.  But  the  Church  of  Christ 
is  exactly  in  the  same  position,  as  regards  the  world, 
as  that  in  which  Israel  was,  as  regards  the  nations. 
As  the  apostle  says,  "  He  has  redeemed  you  out  of 
the  world,"  and  as  Christ  says,  "Ye  are  not  of  the  world, 
and  my  kingdom  is  not  of  the  world  "  ;  it  will  come 
into  the  world,  but  it  is  not  of  the  world. 

And  now  let  me  go  on  to  the  next  point.  This 
latter  point  will  come  up  again  for  our  consideration 
when  I  view  the  Jewish  history  in  its  prophetic  light. 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  251 

I  wish  now  to  speak  of  the  actual  reahty  of  the 
Jewish  history.  This  is  a  very  important  point.  I 
wish  to  say,  in  the  first  place,  that  the  Bible  professes 
to  be  history.  There  is  no  distinction  made  in  the 
Bible  between  certain  parts  of  this  history  and  other 
parts — some  which  are  more  credible  than  the  others, 
some  which  are  more  historical — none  whatever.  The 
prophets,  our  blessed  Lord,  and  the  apostles,  treat  all 
the  parts  of  Bible  history  on  a  perfect  level.  The 
serpent  that  tempted  Eve  is  a  historical  fact.  The 
Flood  and  all  the  things  that  are  narrated  in  the 
earlier  portion  of  the  Bible,  just  as  much  as  in  the 
later,  are  historical  facts.  There  is  no  distinction 
made. 

Now,  I  wish  to  treat  this  subject  with  all  fairness. 
I  say  it  is  exceedingly  difficuk  for  a  man  to  accept 
the  history  of  the  Bible,  not  because  there  is  not  abun- 
dant evidence  of  its  truth  coming  out  every  day,  of 
its  [historical  and  geographical  accuracy — there  the 
difficulty  does  not  lie.  The  difficulty  lies  in  this, 
that  the  things  which  are  spiritual — and,  above  all, 
God  Himself — can  only  be  the  object  of  faith  ;  and 
this  whole  Bible  history  is  a  history  in  which  God  is 
the  great  agent,  and  Israel  only  responding  to  His 
agency,  and  afterwards  the  Church  only  responding 
to  His  agency. 

Now,  people  have  said — and  it  is  quite  natural — 
"  The  Jews  are  not  the  only  nation  of  antiquity. 
There  are  a  great  many  other  nations."  We  notice 
in  the  history  of  all  other  nations,  that  the  early 
portion  of  their  history  is  full  of  wonderful  things — 
what  we  must  call  "  myths."  A  myth  is  not  a  lie, 
but  it  is  not  a  historical  reality.  There  is  gener- 
ally some  basis  of  fact  in   every  myth,  some  hero. 


252  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

some  great  wonderful  event,  which  actually  existed. 
But  a  myth  is  not  historically  true.  It  is  the  action 
of  imagination  and  of  reflection,  which,  as  it  were, 
spin  out  a  narrative  in  order  to  illustrate  some  truth, 
or  to  represent  some  idea.  Now,  we  find  Grecian 
history  and  Roman  history  in  their  early  stages, 
to  be  mythology  ;  but  when  the  Greeks  advanced  in 
knowledge  and  in  their  whole  intellectual  activity, 
they  rejected  their  early  mythology ;  and  so  we 
find  that  Plato  and  other  thinkers,  both  among  the 
Greeks  and  among  the  Romans,  criticised  their  early 
history  with  great  severity  and  irony.  And  for 
this  there  was  a  twofold  reason.  In  the  first  place, 
the  myths  themselves  were  so  grotesque  and  so 
evidently  fabulous  that  it  was  impossible  to  believe 
them,  except  in  an  age  of  childhood,  when  people  do 
not  seek  for  truth,  but  rather  for  amusement, — as 
children  like  to  hear  something  that  is  imaginative, 
knowing  themselves  that  it  is  not  true,  and  yet  not 
analysing  whether  it  is  reality  or  not.  It  pleases  them, 
and  it  also,  perhaps,  instructs  them  in  some  degree. 
That  was  one  reason  of  the  criticism.  But  the  other 
reason  was  this.  These  mythologies  are  full  of  im- 
morality. The  gods  and  heroes  of  which  these  myth- 
ologies speak  are  by  no  means  illustrative  of  a  high 
ideal  of  human  character  ;  and  as  the  conscience  was 
aroused  in  these  men,  and  they  knew  what  were  truth 
and  honesty  and  magnanimity  and  the  different 
virtues  which  men  ought  to  have,  they  said,  "It  is 
pernicious  to  exalt  such  gods  and  heroes,  because 
the  influence  of  them  is  immoral."  So  in  pro- 
portion as  light  advanced,  and  in  proportion  as  the 
conscience  was  roused  by  reflection,  ancient  history 
was  discarded.      That  is  perfectly  true. 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  253 

But  now  I  come  to  the  Scripture  history,  and 
upon  this  very  fact  I  base  an  argument.  The  argu- 
ment, in  short,  is  this, — that,  because  there  is  a  good 
deal  of  base  coin  circulating,  that  is  no  proof  that 
there  is  not  genuine  coin,  the  superscription  of  which 
is  that  of  God  the  Lord  Himself.  As  the  idols  of 
the  nations  were  either  nothings,  or  simply  heroes  or 
demons,  so  the  mythology  concerning  them  does  not 
belong  to  the  realm  of  fact  but  of  fiction.  But  as 
the  God  of  Israel,  which  is  our  postulate,  is  the  true 
God,  the  living  God  who  created  the  heavens  and 
the  earth,  the  history  which  tells  of  Him  does  not 
belong  to  the  realm  of  fiction,  but  belongs  to  the 
realm  of  truth. 

And,  secondly,  the  Greeks  and  Romans,  as  they 
advanced,  discarded  their  early  history,  but  the 
people  of  Israel  as  they  advanced,  and  (to  speak 
with  reverence  and  humanly)  as  Israel  reached  its 
culmination  in  Jesus  Christ  and  in  the  apostles,  their 
regard  for  their  ancient  history  did  not  decrease,  but 
rather  advanced,  and  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac, 
and  Jacob  is  the  God  of  Jesus  Christ ;  and  thus  the 
apostle  Peter  preaches,  "  The  God  of  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob  hath  glorified  His  child  Jesus." 
And  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob  are  no  mythical 
characters.  There  is  nothing  about  them  that  is 
fictitious.  They  are  not  described  as  being  different 
from  other  men.  Theirs  is  a  most  intensely  human 
history  ;  and  so  the  word  "  patriarch  "  has  remained 
up  to  this  day  to  describe  what  is  genuine,  unsophis- 
ticated, real  humanity.  No  miracles  were  performed 
by  these  men.  There  is  nothing  in  the  record,  show- 
ing that  there  was' an  intention  of  putting  a  halo 
around  them,  or  of  resjardincf  them  as  demigods. 


254  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 


But  the  second  argument  is  this.  The  tone  of 
the  historical  books  of  Scripture  is  sober,  severe, 
unadorned,  negligent — as  regards  the  form.  The 
myths  of  the  ancients,  because  they  were  not  fact, 
required  all  the  embellishment  which  poetry  and 
rhetoric  could  give  them  in  order  to  make  them 
attractive.  But  the  history  of  creation  and 
paradise,  of  the  patriarchs  and  Moses,  of  the 
children  of  Israel  in  the  wilderness,  of  David, 
of  Christ,  and  of  the  apostles,  requires  no  orna- 
mentation. It  is  quite  true  that  there  is  nothing  so 
grand,  because  there  is  nothing  so  pathetic, — there  is 
nothing  so  beautiful,  as  these  beautiful  histories.  But 
the  authors  of  these  books  did  not  want  to  make 
them  beautiful.  It  is  not  the  result  of  art.  You 
know  how,  in  poems  and  in  books  of  fiction,  there  is 
great  art  in  the  grouping  of  things,  in  making  the 
complication  of  the  knot  as  exciting  and  interesting 
as  possible,  and  in  leading  up  everything  to  a  grand 
dramatic  solution  at  the  end.  We  have  nothing  of 
that  in  Scripture.  Sometimes,  when  the  history  is, 
so  to  speak,  most  exciting,  there  comes  a  long 
interruption,  a  chapter  of  names  and  genealogies, 
and  a  statement  of  stations  and  places,  as  if  the  man 
who  wrote  it  was  just  noting  down  the  facts,  and . 
entirely  careless  of  producing  any  effect  of  art.  This 
is  the  divine  negligence  of  style  which  is  grander 
than  all  human  art. 

Aeain.  In  all  other  histories  we  find  an  element 
which  has  to  be  largely  discounted.  Niebuhr  says 
that  the  Old  Testament  history  is  the  only  exception 
to  ancient  history,  in  that  it  is  free  from  what  he 
calls  all  "  national  patriotic  falsehood."  What  that 
means  is  evident.      The  other  nations  always  wished 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  255 

to  magnify  themselves.  They  are  never  defeated  in 
battle,  or  if  they  are  defeated  in  battle  it  is  owing  to 
some  extraordinary  perfidy  and  some  very  extraordi- 
nary combination  of  circumstances,  and  they  always 
aim  at  glorifying  themselves.  You  see  this  tendency 
continually  breaking  out,  even  unintentionally.  But 
Israel's  history  is  a  history  that  shows  what  a  wicked, 
ungrateful,  bad  nation  they  were,  and  how  God 
punished  them  by  making  other  nations  come  and 
subdue  them ;  and  so  the  defeat  of  Israel  is  not 
merely  narrated  faithfully,  but  a  most  humiliating 
reason  is  given  for  that  defeat — "  Because  Israel 
forgot  the  Lord  and  walked  not  in  the  way  of  His 
commandments."  That  is  another  very  remarkable 
element  in  sacred  history.  What  other  nation  has 
so  recorded  its  iniquity,  and  the  constant  chastise- 
ment which  it  drew  down  from  heaven  ? 

There  is  another  evidence  of  its  veracity,  and  it  is 
this.  In  other  histories  we  see  the  great  tendency 
to  hero-worship.  The  historian  has  some  favourite 
character.  He  wants  to  show  'vhat  a  grand  man 
that  was.  The  Bible  never  wants  to  show  what  a 
grand  man  anybody  was.  There  is  no  hero-worship 
in  the  Bible.  I  have  already  referred  to  that  which  is 
made  an  objection  against  the  Bible — that  Abraham 
and  Jacob  and  Moses  and  David  are  so  full  of 
faults  and  sins,  and  Peter  denied  Christ  thrice,  etc. 
There  is  no  hero-worship  in  the  Bible.  Israel  and 
the  Church  have  great  men ;  but  what  was  their  great- 
ness ?  Read  the  1 1  th  chapter  of  the  epistle  to  the 
Hebrews.  Faith  was  their  greatness  ;  or,  in  other 
words,  their  greatness  was,  that  they  were  nothing, 
but  that  they  trusted  in  God.  Now,  that  is  another 
argument  for  the  actual  history. 


256  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS — 

I  come  to  a  third  argument — very  important.  I 
have  already  alluded  to  the  genealogies.  Of  course 
when  people  read  these  genealogies,  or,  rather,  do 
not  read  them,  they  think,  "  Why  is  so  much  of  the 
Bible  taken  up  with  a  dry  list  of  names  ?  "  Well,  it 
is  dry  to  us,  but  it  is  not  dry  in  itself.  These 
genealogies  are  of  the  greatest  importance  in 
proving  the  historic  character  of  these  books.  The 
book  of  Genesis  is  made  up,  as  it  were,  of  ten 
genealogies  into  which  the  history  is  framed.  The 
book  of  Exodus  begins  by  a  very  cool  and  prosaic 
enumeration  of  the  families  descended  from  Jacob. 
The  book  of  Chronicles,  at  its  beginning,  chapter 
after  chapter,  contains  nothing  but  a  list  of  names. 
What  an  extraordinary  thing  this  is.  Now,  notice, 
if  a  man  writes  a  fiction  which  he  wants  to  have 
the  appearance  of  truth,  like  Robinson  Crusoe,  he 
will  make  use  of  this  in  an  artistic  way,  to  a  certain 
extent,  to  give  an  air  of  verisimilitude,  as  in  Homer 
we  find  a  catalogue  of  the  ships.  But  look  at 
these  statements  in  the  Bible,  Look  at  the  book 
of  Numbers — a  description,  with  the  names  of  all 
the  stations  where  they  halted  and  the  distances.  Is 
this  fiction  ?  Look  where  these  interruptions  and 
these  genealogies  are  placed,  and  you  will  see  that 
it  is  not  done  by  an  artist,  but  by  one  who  states 
that  which  is  true.  And  what  wonderful  disclosures 
in  the  names  !  I  will  mention  only  one  instance, 
the  names  of  Moses'  parents — Amram  and  Jochebed. 
The  parents  of  Moses,  living  in  Egypt,  lived  by  faith 
in  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  they 
knew  the  things  and  the  truths  recorded  in  Genesis, 
although  the  book  was  not  in  existence.  The  facts 
were  in  existence.     Amram  means  "  the  nation  that  is 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  257 

exalted."  Jochebed  means  "  to  Jehovah  belongs  the 
glory."  Are  not  all  the  five  books  of  Moses  in  these 
two  names  ?  Whence  came  these  names  ?  These 
genealogies  and  statistical  statements  which  we  find 
throughout  the  Bible,  down  to  the  New  Testament, 
where  Matthew  begins  with  a  genealogy,  are  a  very 
strong  proof  of  the  historic  character  of  the  Scrip- 
ture. 

I  wish  to  mention  another  point  that  is  very 
striking.  The  Bible  history  is  quite  different  from 
all  other  history.  I  not  merely  admit  this,  but  the 
point  of  my  address  is  to  prove  that  it  is  different 
from  all  other  histories.  Yet  it  always  keeps  sight 
of  the  other  nations.  We  never,  as  it  were,  leave 
the  coast.  We  are  always  reminded  that  we  are  on 
terra  firma.  The  monuments  and  inscriptions,  that 
have  been  discovered  within  the  last  thirty  years, 
have  brought  to  light  the  accuracy  of  the  allusions 
in  Scripture  to  surrounding  nations  and  to  the  earlier 
world.  Professor  Dawson  has  written  a  very  inter- 
esting book  on  the  Lands  of  the  Bible,  in  which  he 
throws  much  light  upon  the  position  of  Paradise. 
This  has  been  a  subject  of  research  among  the 
Assyriologists.  I  quote  a  sentence  from  one,  who  is 
a  great  German  authority  on  Assyriology.  He  says, 
"  The  1 4th  chapter  of  Genesis,  in  which  there  is 
recorded  the  war  of  the  four  kings  with  the  five 
kings,  has  been  proved  by  lately  discovered  cunei- 
form inscriptions  to  be  the  grandest  relic  of  ancient 
Scripture  history."  That  is  a  wonderful  fact.  Take, 
again,  the  history  of  Egypt.  It  was  once  objected 
that,  because  it  was  mentioned  that  the  king  of 
Egypt  made  a  present  to  Abraham,  in  which  were 
included  asses,  camels,  and  sheep,  the  narrative  could 

s 


258  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

not  be  true,  because,  at  a  later  period  of  Egyptian 
history,  it  was  found  that  Egyptians  kept  no  sheep, 
and  had  no  camels,  and  had  a  great  abhorrence  of 
asses.     But  the  latest  discoveries  have  shown,  that  in 
the    more   ancient    period    there  were    rich  men    in 
Egypt,  who  possessed  thousands  of  sheep ;  while  bones 
of  dromedaries  have  been  found  ;  so  that  this  state- 
ment has  proved  to  be   a  confirmation    instead    of 
an    objection.      And  —  to   mention   the    name   of   a 
writer   whose   works   of   fiction    may  be   known    to 
many   of   you,    and   who    is   a    great    authority   on 
Egypt — Ebers  declares  that  the  whole  narrative  of 
Joseph,    and    the    picture    it    gives    of   the    history 
and    the  customs   and  the  spirit  of   Egypt   at  that 
time,  is  most  faithful  and  accurate.     Then  we  have 
the   Egypt  of  the  time  of  Moses.      Then  we   have 
the  other  nations  of  which   we  read   in  the  earlier 
Scriptures — the     Assyrians,    the    Babylonians,    the 
Persians, —  all    the    surrounding     nations, —  always 
kept  in  view.      The  whole  ancient  history  is  referred 
to,    although    the    Scripture   only   touches    upon    it, 
because  in  the  Scripture  view  the  great  and  mighty 
conquerors    were   of   no   vast    importance  ;    and    all 
those    great   kingdoms,    under   which    men    at    that 
time  trembled,  the  Scripture  knew  to  be  ephemeral. 
It    says    in    the    40th   chapter   of   Isaiah    that   they 
will  not  take  root,  and  that  they  will   not  be  found 
in   future  on    the   earth,   while   Israel   should   abide. 
Thus  the  incidental  light,  the  Old  Testament  throws 
upon  the  surrounding  history,  is  confirmed  and  makes 
us  perceive  that  real  history  is  related. 

In  the  New  Testament,  in  the  gospel  of  Luke 
and  the  Acts,  because  Luke's  was  eminently  an 
historical    mind,    we    find    the    birth     of    Jesus    in 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  259 

Bethlehem,  the  miracle  of  miracles  ;  He  was  con- 
ceived of  the  Holy  Ghost  and  born  of  the  Virgin 
Mary  ;  but  it  happened  on  this  earth  of  ours  ;  in 
Judaea,  and  in  Judi^ea  at  a  certain  time ;  when 
Caisar  Augustus  was  the  emperor  of  Rome,  there 
went  forth  the  edict — that  all  the  world  should 
be  taxed  ;  and  again  in  the  book  of  Acts  there 
is  constant  reference  to  the  Roman  history  of  the 
time. 

I  sum  up  by  saying  that  the  evidence  for  the 
accurate  veracity  of  the  history  of  the  Bible  is 
accumulating  day  by  day,  and  comes  to  us  from  all 
sources,  and,  if  I  may  so  speak,  from  independent 
and  impartial  and,  oftentimes,  hostile  sources.  I 
believe  that  it  is  all  actual  history.  I  believe  that 
the  evidence  of  its  veracity  is  very  great,  and  yet 
at  the  same  time  I  must  confess  that  it  is  difficult 
— that  it  is  impossible — to  realise  it,  unless  there 
is  given  to  us  grace.  The  Scripture  history  does 
not  demand  credit  merely.  The  Scripture  history 
demands  faith.  We  can  prove  ^o  a  person  that  it 
is  impossible  to  account  for  the  apostolic  Church,  if 
Jesus  did  not  rise  from  the  dead.  Here  is  an  effect, 
and  there  is  no  cause  to  produce  it  ;  and  then  all 
these  men  said  publicly  in  Jerusalem  that  Jesus  was 
risen  from  the  dead.  Wc  can  also  prove  to  him 
from  the  different  statements  of  the  Gospel  narra- 
tives that  this  is  a  fact  and  not  an  imagination,— 
the  disciples  themselves  not  expecting  it,  and,  after 
it  had  happened,  scarcely  able  to  believe  it ;  and 
yet  he  will  not  be  convinced  that  Jesus  Christ  is 
risen  from  the  dead.  A  man  may  say,  "  I  cannot 
disbelieve  it,"  but  not  disbelieving  a  thing  is  dif- 
ferent from  believing  it.      He  says,  "  I  cannot  con- 


26o  OUR  FAITH  BASED  ON  FACTS— 

tradict  it."  He  says,  "  I  cannot  account  for  it  in 
any  other  way,"  but  still  he  does  not  realise  it.  I 
find  that  when  the  apostles  preached  to  unbelievers 
that  Jesus  Christ  was  risen  from  the  dead,  they  did 
not  produce  a  mass  of  evidence  and  say,  "  We  will 
prove  it  to  you.  It  was  only  a  few  weeks  ago  that 
you  saw  Him  crucified.  You  know  what  was  done 
to  the  sepulchre,  and  that  there  was  the  stone  and 
the  seal  and  the  Roman  guard  ;  and  He  has  ap- 
peared to  Peter,  and  He  has  appeared  to  Thomas, 
and  He  has  appeared  to  these  women,  and  He 
has  appeared  to  five  hundred.  We  can  prove  it 
to  you."  Afterwards,  when  Paul  wrote  to  believers, 
to  the  Christian  Church  at  Corinth,  when  heresy 
had  sprung  up  regarding  the  resurrection,  he  says, 
"  I  preached  unto  you  that  Christ  was  risen  ac- 
cording to  the  Scriptures,  and  that  He  appeared 
on  such  and  such  different  occasions."  But  the 
apostles  preached  the  resurrection  of  Christ  as  a 
divine  fact,  as  in  accordance  with  the  prophecies,  as 
a  link  in  a  great  chain  which  God  made,  and  there- 
fore the  acquiescence  on  the  part  of  the  audience 
was  not  credence,  but  faith.  Ah, — wonder  of  all 
wonders — that  on  this  earth  of  ours  He  by  whom 
this  earth  was  called  into  existence  lived  thirty-three 
years,  that  the  sun  which  was  created  by  Him  shone 
upon  Him,  that  He  ate  our  bread  and  drank  water 
out  of  the  springs  of  our  habitation,  that  He  lived 
among  men,  and  that  with  Plim  also  there  was 
yesterday,  and  to-day,  and  to-morrow,  that  He  wept 
human  tears,  and  that  He  died  upon  the  cross, 
and  that  His  blessed  feet  shall  stand  again  upon 
the  Mount  of  Olives,  and  that  on  this  earth  there 
shall    be    again    a    miraculous    divine    history.        It 


AND  THE  BIBLE  A  BOOK  OF  FACTS  261 

needs    faith — faith.      It    is   a   mystery  of   godh'ness, 
and  blessed  are  we  if  we  believe. 

Bible  history  to  us  is  not  a  matter  of  indifference, 
nor  merely  does  it  satisfy  our  intelligence,  but  it  is 
our  very  life  and  consolation  ! 


XIII 

OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE  NO  BASIS  IN 
REASON 

Miracles  a  stumbling-block  to  reason,  only  when  reason  is  misapplied 
— Reason  really  declares  nothing  in  regard  to  them  —  A  revelation 
of  God,  which  is  spiritual  and  eternal,  rises,  as  on  eagle's  wings, 
far  above  the  ken  of  reason  —  True  philosophers  acknowledge 
the  limits  of  reason — Science  owes  all  its  advance  to  the  silent 
recognition  of  intelligence,  as  arranging  all,  not  to  that  idea  of 
dull  lifeless  uniformity  suggested  by  pantheism  and  materialism, 
which  alone  declare  miracles  to  be  impossible — Miracle  entirely 
apart  from  nature — This  shown  in  detail — Whence  the  beginning 
of  things — Absolute  necessity  of  direct  Divine  guidance  to  account 
for  the  beginning — The  prophecies, — many  of  them  indisputable, 
— continuous  miracles — Special  difficulties  raised  as  to  Jonah, 
Balaam,  etc. — Continuous  miracles  in  conversion,  answers  to 
prayer,  etc.  —  God  present  in  all  His  works,  creating,  controlling, 
guiding  all. 

The  subject  of  this  morning's  lecture  is  the  super- 
natural and  the  miraculous  character  of  Bible  history. 
Abundant  and  various  as  are  the  evidences,  and  the 
corroborative  testimonies  attesting  the  truthfulness 
and  accuracy  of  Bible  history,  yet,  as  I  stated  at  the 
conclusion  of  my  last  lecture,  this  Bible  history 
requires  not  merely  credence  on  the  part  of  man, 
but  also  faith.  And  this  seems  at  first  sight  a 
contradiction,  because  if  there  is  sufficient  evidence 
to  attest  the  truthfulness  of  a  history,  then  the 
human  intellect,  unaided,  ought  to  be  able  to  receive 


OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  BASELESS  263 

this  history.  But  the  reason,  why  the  human 
intellect  is  not  able  to  realise  this  history,  is  not 
because  there  is  any  lack  of  evidence  to  attest  its 
veracity,  but  because  it  is  a  history  of  a  super-  | 
natural  and  miraculous  character.  It  is  the  revela- 
tion of  God,  and  of  a  kingdom  which  is  spiritual 
and  eternal  ;  it  is  the  manifestation  and  develop- 
ment in  time,  of  the  counsels  of  redemption,  which 
God  had  in  Himself,  before  the  foundations  of 
the  world  were  laid  ;  and  it  is  because  God,  and 
the  things  that  refer  to  the  eternal  and  spiritual 
kingdom,  are  inwoven  into  this  history,  that  without 
the  light  and  power  of  the  Holy  Ghost  man  is  unable 
to  realise  it.  And  therefore  this  history  is  an  object 
of  faith,  and  faith  is  the  gift  of  God. 

As  God  who   is   unseen   reveals    Himself  in   this 
history,   and   the  plan  which    He   has    purposed    in 
Himself  develops    in   this   history,   we   are    brought 
altogether  out  of  the  region  and  realm  of  that  which 
is   seen,    and    that    which    can   be    apprehended  by 
human  reason,  or  taken  cognisance  of  by  the  limited 
powers  of  human   intellect.      It  is  here  that  the  op- 
position of  science  has  always    come  into  collision 
with  that  which  has  been  the  object  of  the  faith  of 
Christ's  Church.      But,  as  I  endeavoured  to  show  in 
my  last   lecture,  that  not  merely   does   history   not 
come  into  collisi'on  with  the  records  of  the  Bible,  but 
that  the  Bible  alone  contains  the  facts  and  the  prin- 
ciples upon  which  a  philosophical  and  universal  his- 
tory can  be  based,  so  I  may  also  assert  that  there  is 
no  collision  whatever  between  science,  if  science  keeps 
to  its  own  limits,  and  that  revelation  of  God  and  a 
supernatural  kingdom  which  is  given  to  us  in  the 
Scripture.      They  who  do  not  believe  in  a  personal 


264  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

God,  but  are  atheists  or  pantheists,  cannot  logically 
accept  the  possibility  of  miracles  ;  but  all  who  believe 
that  there  is  a  living  God,  full  of  wisdom  and  of 
power  and  of  love,  can  find  no  difficulty  in  accept- 
ing a  testimony  which  shows  us  that  God  reveals 
Himself,  and  that  God  acts,  here  upon  earth,  and 
within  the  history  of  mankind.  Therefore  all  that 
the  Scripture  tells  us  of  God  and  of  the  unseen 
world,  instead  of  interfering  with  the  discoveries  of 
science,  only  lays  the  basis  and  firm  foundation  for 
the  activity  of  science.  To  quote  a  man  who  speaks 
of  this  subject  with  authority,  Professor  Dawson, 
"  Any  rational  or  successful  pursuit  of  science  im- 
plies the  feeling  of  a  community  between  the  Author 
and  Contriver  and  Ruler  of  nature,  and  the  mind 
which  can  understand  it.  To  science  nature  must 
be  a  cosmos,  not  a  fortuitous  chaos,  and  everything 
in  the  history  and  arrangements  of  the  universe  must 
be  a  manifestation  not  only  of  order  but  of  design. 
The  true  man  of  science  must  believe  in  a  divine 
creative  will,  in  a  God  who  manifests  Himself  and 
is  therefore  not  the  hypothetical  God  of  the  agnostic ; 
in  a  God  who  must  be  distinct  from  and  above  ma- 
terial things,  and  therefore  not  the  shadowy  God  of 
the  pantheist  who  is  everywhere  and  yet  nowhere  ; 
in'  a  God  who  causes  the  unity  and  uniformity  of 
nature,  and  therefore  not  one  of  the  many  gods  of 
polytheism  ;  in  a  God  who  acts  on  His  rational  crea- 
tures daily  in  a  thousand  ways  by  His  fatherly  regard 
for  their  welfare,  and  who  reveals  Himself  to  them  ; 
a  God,  in  short,  who  made  the  world  and  all  things 
therein,  and  who  made  man  in  His  own  image  and 
likeness."  And  with  this  corresponds  the  fact,  that 
science  has  only  prospered  in  Christendom,  and  that 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  265 

the  nations  who  are  polytheists,  or  who  are  pan- 
theists, are  not  able  to  cultivate  science  for  the 
simple  reason,  that  they  do  not  believe  in  God  who 
is  the  creator  and  upholder  of  all  things, — and  there- 
fore the  phenomena,  of  which  they  take  cognisance, 
have  not  to  them  any  coherence  and  unity, — 
attributing  as  they  do  the  different  things  which  they 
see,  to  the  powers  of  nature,  or  to  personifications  of 
these  powers.  But  we  who  believe  in  a  living  God, 
although  we  see  nature  and  trace  the  laws  of  nature, 
yet  do  not  conceive  of  these  laws  of  nature  as  if 
they  put  any  limits  to  the  power  of  God  or  to  the 
liberty  of  God.  He  who  has  made  the  laws,  for 
laws  pre-suppose  a  law-giver,  uses  them  as  His  ser- 
vants and  as  His  medium,  but  He  asserts  within 
them,  and  above  them,  His  own  power  and  His  own 
wisdom.  Therefore  it  is  the  same  thing  whether  the 
heathen  nations  deify  the  various  powers  of  nature 
separately,  and  worship  the  sun  or  the  moon,  or  the 
god  of  the  ocean,  or  the  god  of  trees,  or  whether 
scientific  men  worship  nature  as  a  whole  and  as  an 
organism.  This  idolatry  of  nature  and  of  the  laws 
of  nature,  is  the  very  thing  against  which  the  miracles 
which  are  recorded  in  Scripture  history  do  testify, 
declaring  to  us  that  Jehovah  is  the  God,  who  hath 
made  the  heavens  and  the  earth,  and  who  rulcth 
over  all.  If  there  is  a  kingdom  which  is  visible,  and 
which  has  its  inexorable  laws,  there  is  likewise  a  king- 
dom which  at  present  is  unseen,  the  laws  of  which 
are  still  more  inexorable  and  more  binding.  There 
is  a  kingdom,  of  which  science  can  take  no  cognis- 
ance. There  is  God  ;  there  are  angels  ;  there  is  the 
kingdom  of  evil,  with  Satan  at  its  head  ;  there  is 
the   inheritance  that   is   incorruptible  and   undefiled. 


266  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

and  that  fadeth  not  away, — even  heaven  ;  there  is  the 
abyss  which  is  prepared  for  Satan  and  his  angels. 
Now,  of  all  this  unseen  kingdom  which  is  ruled  over 
by  God  the  Lord  we  know  nothing,  except  by  the 
revelation  of  the  Most  High,  both  in  His  word  and  in 
our  hearts,  through  the  Holy  Spirit.  The  laws  of  the 
spiritual  kingdom  are,  if  comparison  be  possible,  far 
more  stringent,  and  far  more  unchangeable,  than  the 
laws  of  this  outer  world  which  we  can  trace.  But 
more  than  that.  Before  God  ever  thought  and  car- 
ried into  execution  the  creation  of  heaven  and  earth, 
as  we  see  them  now,  there  was,  in  the  depths  of  the 
Divine  Mind,  the  idea  of  the  new  heavens  and  the 
new  earth  wherein  dwelleth  righteousness,  of  a  new 
creation  in  Christ  Jesus  in  which  there  would  be  no 
sin  and  no  sorrow,  of  a  new  race  born  again  of  the 
Spirit — to  whom  it  would  be  impossible  ever  to  fall 
away  from  communion  with  God.  And  it  was  only 
because  of  this  purpose,  which  He  purposed  in  Him- 
self, before  the  foundations  of  the  world  were  laid, 
that  the  heavens  and  the  earth  which  we  behold  were 
created,  and  that  the  whole  history  took  place,  which 
is  recorded  in  Scripture,  and  which  culminates  in  Christ, 
and  which  shall  end  in  the  manifestation  of  His  glory. 
Therefore  this  is  the  God  who,  out  of  this  unseen 
realm,  in  order  to  carry  out  the  purposes  of  His 
love,  manifests  Himself  in  that  history  which  is  re- 
corded in  Scripture  ;  and  this  is  the  law  which,  out  of 
the  unseen  world,  is  made  manifest  in  the  visible 
world — "  With  man  it  is  impossible,  but  with  God 
all  things  are  possible."  Salvation  is  of  Jehovah 
and  of  Jehovah  exclusively.  Only  by  the  interven- 
tion of  divine  power  and  wisdom,  actuated  by  love, 
can   man   be  redeemed,  this  world  transformed,  and 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  267 

the  kingdom  of  the  Most  High  set  up  upon  earth. 
Hence  the  eternal  necessity,  founded  in  the  very 
essence  of  things,  of  the  supernatural  and  miraculous, 
in  the  history  of  redemption.  When  we  come  in 
this  light  to  the  consideration  of  the  Old  Testament 
history,  which  can  never  for  a  moment  be  separated 
from  Christ, — for  without  Christ  it  could  never  have 
taken  place,  without  Christ  it  could  never  have  been 
carried  out,  without  Christ  it  could  have  had  no  end 
and  no  purpose — I  say,  when  we  come  to  the  con- 
sideration of  the  miracles  recorded  in  the  sacred 
history  in  this  light,  then  what  we  cannot  comprehend 
appears  full  of  wisdom  and  consistency. 

And  before  I  enter  on  the  enumeration  of  the 
special  points,  let  me  remind  you  of  a  few  facts  in 
connection  with  the  miracles,  ~  It  has  been  said  that 
miracle  is  beyond  nature,  and  that  miracle  is  above 
nature,  and  that  miracle  is  against  nature.  It  would 
be  better  to  say  that  miracle  is  entirely  apart  from 
nature.  In  miracle,  for  great  reasons  and  purposes, 
God  acts  here  upon  earth,  apa.t  from  the  laws  of 
nature.  The  thing  that  is  important  'in  a  miracle  is 
not  that  something  extraordinary  has  happened  for 
which  we  can  give  no  account  as  to  its  origination, — 
but  the  important  thing  in  a  miracle  is  that  God 
acts.  It  is  nothing  to  say  that  something  remark- 
able has  happened,  and  that  we  are  not  able  to 
account  for  the  phenomenon.  The  essence  of  a 
miracle  is  this — that  God  interferes,  that  God  acts, 
to  reveal  Himself  and  to  carry  out  His  purposes. 
Therefore  every  miracle  is  regarded  in  the  Bible,  as 
full  of  teaching  and  instruction.  It  is  the  revela- 
tion, the  manifestation,  the  exposition  of  God's 
character  and  purpose.      Those  miracles  that  occur 


268  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

in  the  Bible  are  not  isolated  and  unconnected  with 
one  another,  but  are  all  links  in  a  chain,  and  by 
,  these  links  the  history  of  God's  kingdom  upon  earth 
\  is  carried  on,  for  without  them  it  could  not  have 
.,  been  carried  on.  They  appear  at  the  important 
^  junctures  and  times  of  crisis  when,  to  speak  with 
;  reverence,  it  is  necessary,  according  to  the  divine 
wisdom,  that  God  should  interfere.  And  further, 
it  is  a  mistake  to  say  that  in  these  miracles  the 
laws  of  nature  are  suspended.  The  laws  of  nature 
are  by  no  means  suspended.  When  Jesus  changed 
the  water  into  wine  at  the  marriage  at  Cana,  all 
water  was  not  changed  into  wine.  All  the  water 
that  was  in  Cana  was  not  changed  into  wine.  Only 
this  water  upon  which  the  will  of  Christ  acted  was 
so  changed.  If,  when  the  axe  of  iron  was  cast 
into  the  water,  somebody  else  had  cast  an  axe 
\  of  iron  into  the  water,  it  would  have  sunk.  The 
laws  of  specific  gravity  were  not  suspended,  but  in 
this  particular  instance  there  was  an  action  of  the 
divine  omnipotence,  for  His  gracious  purposes.  And 
nothing  illustrates  this  principle  more  than  that  most 
remarkable  instance  of  the  divine  power — God  raising 
the  dead.  When  our  blessed  Saviour  raised  the  little 
maid  he  said,  "  Give  her  something  to  eat."  The 
laws  of  nature  were  not  suspended.  He  raised  the 
little  child,  and,  immediately  after  He  had  raised  the 
little  child,  there  was  not  the  slightest  disturbance 
upon  the  face  of  the  waters  of  nature ;  she  had 
immediately  to  go  back  again  to  the  general  course. 
And  when  He  raised  the  young  man,  the  son  of  the 
widow  of  Nain,  He  gave  him  back  to  his  mother  ; 
and  when  He  raised  Lazarus,  who  had  been  four 
days  in  the  grave.  He  said,  "  Loose  him,  and  let  him 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON.  269 


go."  Nor  do  miracles,  or  prophecy,  interfere  with 
the  action  of  human  liberty  and  of  human  respon- 
sibility. Miracles  never  forced  people  to  believe  in 
Jesus,  or  to  believe  in  Jehovah.  The  decision  of 
the  will  was  left  untouched  by  the  miracle.  We 
see  from  the  9th  chapter  of  John  that  although 
the  most  persistent,  minute  cross-examination  of 
the  man  that  was  blind  took  place,  the  Pharisees 
resisted  the  most  circumstantial  evidence,  that  could 
have  been  brought  before  a  judge.  And  the  raising 
of  Lazarus  from  the  grave  only  accelerated  the 
decision  of  the  enemies  of  Christ,  that  He  must 
be  put  to  death.  Where  is  there  in  the  miracles 
that  are  recorded  in  Scripture,  anything  that  inter- 
feres with  science  properly  so-called,  or  that  inter- 
feres with  all  the  ideas  and  instincts  of  reason  and 
of  feeling  ? 

Look  then  at  the  chain  of  supernatural  and 
miraculous  events.  I  call  events  supernatural,  when 
God  speaks,  when  God  appears,  when  God  Himself 
acts.  I  call  them  miraculous  whon  God,  through  the 
agency  of  His  chosen  servants  who  have  faith,  breaks 
as  it  were  through  the  phenomena  that  we  behold,  and 
manifests  His  own  presence  and  His  own  purpose. 
Supernatural  in  the  strictest  sense  of  the  word  is  the 
history  of  the  creation  of  the  world,  which  reason 
could  never  have  elaborated,  and  of  which  human 
testimony  could  not  possibly  have  given  witness — 
that  God  created  the  heavens  and  the  earth,  and 
that  God  created  man  in  His  image,  that  God 
formed  Eve  out  of  Adam  because  the  whole  human 
race  was  to  consist  in  one,  and  not  in  two  beginnings. 
Supernatural  is  the  record  of  the  fall  of  man — that 
the  idea  of   evil    emanated   not   out  of  the   depths 


270  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

of  his  own  being,  but  that,  from  a  realm  beyond 
our  ken,  the  Prince  of  Darkness  suggested  to  him 
disobedience  to  God.  Supernatural  is  the  record 
that  Enoch,  the  seventh  from  Adam,  was  taken 
up  into  heaven,  in  order  to  convince  a  secularised 
race,  which  sought  its  safety  and  its  happiness  in 
the  present,  that  there  was  another  world  and 
another  life.  Supernatural  was  the  judgment  of 
the  Flood  upon  the  human  race,  and  the  deliverance 
of  Noah  and  his  household.  Supernatural  was  the 
origin  of  nations  and  the  origin  of  the  diversity  of 
languages,  because  God  in  His  own  mind  saw  already 
that,  in  Christ  Jesus  and  by  the  power  of  the  Holy 
Ghost,  He  would  unite  all  the  families  of  the  earth 
into  perfect  harmony  and  concord,  through  the  One 
that  He  had  chosen.  With  all  these  supernatural 
manifestations  and  acts,  which  are  recorded  in  the 
first  part  of  the  book  of  Genesis,  there  is  associ- 
ated the  teaching  which  God  designs.  God  teaches 
—  that  is,  His  light  descends  unto  man.  God 
works  marvellous  things — that  is.  His  power  is 
made  manifest  to  man.  There  was  a  tendency 
to  emigrate,  at  the  time  when  Abraham  lived  in 
Ur  of  the  Chaldees,  but  to  no  natural  impulse  was 
the  emigration  of  Abraham  to  be  attributed  ;  for 
the  beginning  of  the  race  which  God  had  chosen 
must  be  altogether  in  the  hands  of  God.  It  was  a 
supernatural  and  divine  call,  when  the  God  of  glory 
appeared  unto  Abraham,  that  made  him  go  into  the 
land  which  God  showed  him.  Supernatural  was  the 
origin  of  the  Jewish  race  in  the  birth  of  Isaac,  so 
much  so  that  the  apostle  Paul  teaches  us,  that  the 
faith  which  Abraham  exercised  in  believing  the 
divine  promise,  was  nothing  short  of  believing  that 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  271 


God  was  able  to  raise    the   dead,    and    to   call   into 
existence   that   which    is    not.      When    now    in    the 
providence  of  God    the   children  of  Jacob  had   got 
into   Egypt,   and   were    there   brought  into   conflict, 
400  years  afterwards,  with  the  most  civilised  nation 
of  the  world,  it  was  not,  because  the  Jewish  nation 
had  attained  to  a  maturity  of  independence  and  of 
courage,  that  they  conceived  the  idea  of  emancipa- 
ting themselves  from  the  yoke, — for  when  first  the 
idea  was  presented  to  them    they  rebelled  against 
it  ;   nor  was  it  because  Moses,  actuated  by  a  heroic 
patriotism,  resolved  to  be  the  rescuer  of  his  nation, 
for  long  after  the   painful    experience  that  he  had 
had, — which  taught  him  that  that  which  is  born  of 
the  flesh  is  flesh,  and  that  the  unhallowed  and  un- 
bridled enthusiasm  and  energy  of  human  nature  are 
not  able  to  do  anything  in  the  kingdom  of  God, — 
God  appeared  to  him  in  the  burning  bush,  and  had 
to  persuade  and  command  the  unwilling  Moses  to  go 
to   Pharaoh.      By  miracles  and  signs,  He  persuaded 
Moses  that  the  God  of  his  fathers  was  also  with  him. 
By   miracles   and    mighty  wonders   did   God   deliver 
Israel    out    of  Egypt,  when   He    made   manifest  to 
Pharaoh  and   to  all  the  Egyptians,  that  the  powers 
of  nature   which    they  worshipped    were   altogether 
under  the  subjection  of  the  Most   High.       And  on 
that  memorable  night  when  the  first  born  in  Egypt, 
and  only  the  first  born — when  not  viany  of  the  first 
born,  but  all  of  the  first  born  of  Egypt — died,  God 
brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt  with   His  mighty  hand 
and  outstretched  arm,  and  by  the  blood  of  the  paschal 
lamb  redeemed  them,  to  show  them  that  it  was  not 
merely  His  power  nor  His  faithfulness,  but  also  His 
mercy  (which  was  to  be  exhibited  in  the  atonement), 


272  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

that  made  them,  who  were  as  guilty  as  the  Egyptians, 
to  be  His  witnesses  and  His  people.  By  miracle  they 
passed  through  the  Red  Sea ; — for  all  that  the 
rationalists  have  suggested  about  the  natural  tide  and 
flow  cannot  account  for  the  passage  of  two  millions  of 
human  beings  just  at  that  time, — and  for  the  destruc- 
tion afterwards  of  their  enemies.  By  miracle,  and 
through  the  faith  of  Moses,  they  passed  through  the 
Red  Sea,  in  order  that  they  might  witness  that  stu- 
pendous and  magnificent  manifestation  of  Jehovah, 
when,  with  His  mighty  angels,  He  promulgated  the 
fiery  and  blessed  and  everlasting  law  of  Mount  Sinai. 
Not  in  any  other  way,  could  it  have  been  done  ;  not 
in  any  other  way,  could  it  have  been  impressed  upon 
Israel  and  on  other  nations,  that  Israel  was  the  nation 
of  God,  chosen  by  Him  in  His  sovereignty,  formed  by 
Him  for  Himself,  and  that  all  that  was  to  come  out  of 
Israel  ("  Salvation  is  of  the  Jews  ")  was  not  because 
in  Israel  there  was  any  worthiness  or  any  material, 
out  of  which  there  could  come  a  deliverance  and  a 
redemption,  but  because  God  Himself  in  Israel,  and 
among  Israel,  and  through  Israel,  was  about  to  carry 
out  His  gracious  promises.  For  forty  years  in  the 
wilderness,  there  was  a  supernatural  and  miraculous 
history.  The  angel  of  His  presence  went  with  them. 
The  manifestation  of  glory  was  vouchsafed  to  them. 
Manna  came  down  from  heaven  and  fed  them.  Out 
of  the  rock  came  water  and  they  drank.  Against 
their  enemies  they  were  protected  by  the  might  of 
God.  By  looking  at  the  brazen  serpent  they  were 
healed,  in  order  that  they  might  learn  the  doctrine 
of  sin  and  of  salvation.  God  did  mighty  works  and 
revealed  Himself  in  a  marvellous  way  to  the  children 
of  Israel  in  the  wilderness.      Here  comes  an  episode 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  273 

frequently  used  by  the  opponents  of  revelation,  who 
see  only  the  surface,  and  who  are  very  easily  satisfied 
with  the  most  feeble  satire,  upon  what  appears  to 
them  to  be  grotesque.  When  the  Israelites  first 
come  into  contact  with  their  enemies,  the  Amorites 
and  the  Moabites,  just  before  they  are  going  to  take 
possession  of  the  land  promised  to  their  fathers, 
there  is  a  wonderful  witness  raised  up  for  Jehovah, 
not  from  among  the  Israelites  but  from  among  the 
heathen  nations, — Balaam,  who  was  a  seer  and 
knew  that  Jehovah  was  God.  Whether  he  had 
retained  some  of  the  primaeval  knowledge,  handed 
down  among  the  heathen,  or  whether  the  report  of 
the  mighty  acts  of  God  in  Egypt  and  in  the  wilderness 
had  reached  him  as  it  had  reached  many  others, — 
he  was  a  seer,  one  who  used  divination,  a  soothsayer, 
many  of  whom  were  to  be  found  among  the  heathen. 
These  were,  as  Scripture  teaches  us,  not  merely 
deceivers,  but  they  possessed  a  real  knowledge  and 
a  real  power,  in  connection  with  demons.  Balaam 
wished  to  combine  his  heathen  magic,  with  the  know- 
ledge of  Jehovah.  Deeply  rooted  in  his  heart  was 
the  love  of  money, — covetousness,  which  is  idolatry. 
He  was  a  double-hearted  and  a  double-minded  man, 
yet  full  of  light  and  knowledge — a  great  psychological 
miracle,  and,  several  times,  held  up  for  our  instruction 
and  warning,  in  the  books  of  the  New  Testament. 
When  God  permits  him  to  go  up  to  Balak,  but  on 
the  condition  that  he  should  speak  only  what  God 
commanded  him, — God,  seeing  the  perversity  of  his 
heart,  wished  to  rebuke  him  and  to  hinder  him,  and 
then  there  came  the  angel  with  the  drawn  sword. 
But  he  that  was  a  seer  became  blind  and  saw  not, 
and  he  that  was  as   a   prophet,  above  the   level   of 

T 


274  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

humanity,  sank  below  the  level  of  humanity,  so  that, 
as  the  apostle  Peter  teaches  us,  the  dumb  animal 
rebuked  his  madness.  God  rebuked  his  perversity  by 
making  this  irrational  animal  speak  to  him.  The  ass 
saw  the  angel  of  the  Lord  and  was  frightened.  The 
ass  also  perceived  the  injustice  of  his  master  and 
resented  it, — and  in  both  these  acts  the  animal  did 
not  transcend  the  limits  of  what  we  see  all  animals 
around  us  continually  do.  That  the  ass  expressed 
both  its  fright,  and  its  indignation  at  being  wrong- 
fully treated,  is  according  to  natural  phenomena. 
The  miracle  begins  here — that  with  the  human  voice 
he  rebuked  the  perversity  of  Balaam.  And  that  all 
this  happened  not  in  an  ecstasy  or  a  dream  is  evident 
from  this  fact — that  not  until  after  this  rebuke  did 
Balaam  behold  the  angel  of  the  Lord.  But  this 
miracle,  striking  as  it  is,  is  only  one  of  the  incidental 
and  accidental  features  of  this  wonderful  narrative. 
The  importance  of  Balaam  and  his  predictions  lies 
in  quite  a  different  territory.  Balaam  himself,  in 
wonderful  words,  shows  to  us  the  great  distinction 
that  there  is  between  prophecy,  and  the  enchantment 
and  divination,  common  among  the  heathen  nations 
— as  the  consulting  the  flight  of  birds,  or  the  fore- 
showing and  foretelling  of  future  events  from  the 
configuration  of  the  intestines  of  sacrifices,  and  so  on. 
In  Israel  it  was  the  living  God  who,  by  His  word, 
was  to  direct  their  history.  Many  of  the  sayings 
of  Balaam  have  become  household  words  among  the 
faithful — his  declaration  that  God  was  not  man  that 
He  should  lie,  or  the  son  of  man  that  He  should  not 
be  faithful  to  His  promise  ;  or  his  prediction  of  the 
king  that  was  to  arise  in  Israel  and  give  to  it  the 
victory, — the  star  that  was  to  come  out  of  Jacob  and 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  275 

the  sceptre  that  was  to  come  out  of  Judah.  Won- 
derful were  the  predictions  of  Balaam,  and  this  was 
their  significance — that  here  God  raised  up  a  witness, 
out  of  heathenism,  to  show  to  Israel  that — weak  and 
powerless  as  they  were  in  themselves,  and  about  to 
enter  upon  a  task  which  appeared  and  must  appear 
to  man  impossible,  that  of  conquering  the  nations — 
they  were  strong  in  the  Lord.  Here  is  a  heathen 
seer,  who  beholds  heathen  power  after  heathen  power 
rise  up,  while  all  of  them  are  destroyed  and  dis- 
appear, and  Israel  alone  remains.  There  is  no  pro- 
phecy, until  we  come  to  the  prophecy  of  Daniel, 
which  passes  forth  to  the  utmost  distance,  like  the 
prophecy  of  Balaam,  for,  as  a  heathen,  he  was  more 
concerned  with  the  relation  of  Israel  to  the  world, 
than  with  Israel  to  itself.  ~So  in  this  prophecy  of 
Balaam  we  find — what  is  afterwards  more  fully  re- 
vealed by  Daniel — that  from  the  west,  the  Isles  of 
Chittim  in  the  Mediterranean  Sea,  that  is  Greece, 
there  should  come  the  victory  of  Israel  over  Asshur 
that  was  to  rise  up  against  her.  As  Balaam  says, 
Israel  is  a  nation  apart,  separated  by  God  for  a 
great  purpose. 

When  Israel  was  now  before  the  land  of  Canaan 
and  Moses  had  been  taken  away,  miracles  continued 
to  be  wrought,  and  for  good  reason.  Only  think  of 
Joshua's  position.  For  forty  years  he  had  come  into 
contact  with  Israel,  and  become  acquainted  with  their 
unfaithfulness  and  their  want  of  courage.  The  task 
that  was  before  him  was  one  of  stupendous  magnitude, 
for  Canaan  vvas  full  of  fortified  cities,  and  was  inhabited 
by  warlike  nations,  and  he  was  to  succeed  Moses, 
that  unique  man  in  antiquity, — the  man  of  God.  No 
wonder  that  God  said  to  him,  "  Only  be  not  afraid, 


276  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

and  be  of  courage  ;  as  I  was  with  Moses,  so  I  will 
be  with  thee."  And  therefore  as  miracles  were 
wrought  by  Moses,  miracles  were  wrought  by  Joshua. 
Again  by  miracle,  they  crossed  the  Jordan,  as  they 
had  crossed  the  Red  Sea.  By  miracle  the  walls 
of  Jericho  fell  down.  By  miracle  the  sun  and  the 
moon  had  to  serve  the  purposes  of  God, — the  sun 
being  deified  by  these  nations  as  Baal,  and  the 
moon  as  Ashtaroth.  The  angel  of  the  covenant 
appeared  to  Joshua,  even  as  God  appeared  to 
Moses  in  the  fiery  bush.  The  Prince  of  the  Hosts 
of  the  Lord  spoke  to  Joshua  and  assured  him  that 
he  would  be  with  them.  Thus  it  was  necessary, 
in  order  that  Israel  should  take  possession  of  the 
land,  for  miracles  to  be  performed. 

When  we  come  to  David  who  is  the  type  of  Christ, 
the  man  after  the  heart  of  God,  and  whose  reign  was 
not  to  be  like  the  reign  of  an  earthly  monarch,  then 
again  we  find  that  the  election  and  appointment  of 
David  to  be  king  was  brought  about  supernatur- 
ally.  He  was  not  chosen  by  Israel,  for  Israel  had 
regard  to  that  which  is  outward,  and  the  man  who 
appeared  a  hero  and  valiant  in  battle  was  the  man 
that  attracted  their  attention  ;  but  David  the  son 
of  Jesse  that  kept  the  flock  of  his  father  was  pointed 
out  by  God  Himself,  to  the  prophet  Samuel.  And 
again  God  appeared  to  David  and  showed  to  him 
the  sure  mercies  of  David,  and  that  future  One 
in  whom  God  would  lay  the  foundation  of  the 
kingdom.  Then  there  was  no  miracle  for  a  long 
period  until  the  days  of  Elijah  and  EHsha,  when 
the  whole  nation  had  fallen  into  idolatry,  when  the 
king  was  a  worshipper  of  Baal,  and  hundreds  and 
hundreds  of  priests  were  priests  of  Baal.     Then  God, 


NO  BAS/S  AV  REASON  277 

to  arrest  that  downward  progress,  and  to  prepare  and 
retain  the  land  for  the  future  kingdom,  sent  Elijah. 
Sudden  was  his  appearance,  mysterious  was  his 
ascension.  Like  fire  his  word  burned,  and  lit  up  the 
darkness  of  that  idolatrous  race.  He  by  prayer 
shut  the  doors  of  heaven,  so  that  it  rained  not 
for  three  years  and  a  half,  and  he  opened  again  the 
clouds  of  heaven,  and  the  rain  descended.  Fire 
came  down  from  heaven  upon  the  altar  and  it 
was  made  manifest  to  the  nation  that  "Jehovah, 
He  is  the  God "  ;  and  although,  as  was  necessary 
for  the  exigencies  of  the  time,  the  miracles  of  Elijah 
were  chiefly  of  this  terrible  and  solemn  character, 
yet  the  mercy  of  the  Lord  was  also  made  manifest 
by  Elijah,  even  as  God  spoke  to  him  in  the  still 
small  voice.  And  the  "trust  of  Elijah  in  the  mercy 
of  God,  who  was  able  to  feed  the  hungry  and  to 
bring  to  life  again  those  that  were  dead,  we  are 
shown  in  his  miracles.  And  as  Elijah,  so  Elisha. 
As  Joshua  succeeded  Moses,  so  Elisha  succeeded 
Elijah,  and  in  him  the  healing,  saving,  redeeming 
power  of  Jehovah  was  made  more  manifest.  These 
were  the  two  witnesses  that  God  chose.  They  did 
not  prophesy  in  word.  They  did  not  look  forward 
so  much  to  the  Messiah  as  did  the  other  prophets. 
Their  miracles  were  their  sermons.  God,  by  mighty 
signs  and  wonders,  roused  this  idolatrous  nation  to 
seek  Him  and  return  to  His  favour. 

I  refer  now,  further,  to  two  miracles  which  it  is 
necessary  for  me  to  mention — one,  because  it  is  often 
made  the  object  of  ridicule,  while  the  importance  of 
it  is  not  seen.  For  a  thousand  people  who  will  say 
"  Do  you  believe  that  Balaam's  ass  spoke  ?  "  there 
is  scarcely  one  who  has  read  the  history  of  Balaam — 


278  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

SO  wonderful,  so  instructive,  so  sublime,  and  with  such 
strong  evidence,  —  in  its  prophetic  character,  and 
world-wide  predictions, — of  the  revelation  which  this 
man  had  from  God.  Likewise  is  this  the  case  with 
the  miracle  of  Jonah.  What  a  wonderful  book  is 
that  little  book  of  Jonah  with  its  four  chapters  !  even 
in  Scripture  history  it  is  conspicuous  for  its  vivid 
and  graphic  character.  As  Dr.  Pusey  says,  "  There 
is  not  a  single  line  in  this  book  which  does  not 
advance  the  history.  Here  there  is  no  reflection  : 
here  everything  is  fact  and  picture."  What  a  large 
idea  is  in  this  book  of  Jonah.  God  is  not  the 
God  of  the  Jews  only,  but  also  of  the  Gentiles.  God 
sends  him  to  Nineveh.  There  are  two  miracles 
recorded  in  the  book.  One  belongs  to  outward 
nature  and  the  other  belongs  to  the  inward  king- 
dom. How  great  was  the  miracle  of  the  conversion 
of  the  Ninevites — that  this  great  city  which  con- 
tained millions  of  inhabitants,  from  the  king  upon 
his  throne  down  to  the  lowest  of  the  people,  repented, 
simply  by  hearing  the  message  of  a  strange  prophet 
who  was  landed  on  their  shore.  So  deep  was  their 
repentance,  that  they  caused  even  the  "  beasts  to  be 
covered  with  sackcloth."  Who  but  the  mighty 
Spirit  of  God  could  have  wrought  this. 

But  as  to  the  other  miracle,  that  God  prepared  a 
monster  of  the  sea  to  swallow  Jonah,  and  preserve  the 
life  of  Jonah  for  three  days,  and  afterwards  bring  him 
forth  on  to  the  dry  land, — "  improbable,"  "  impossible," 
as  it  appears, — there  are  many  instances  corroborative 
of  this  miracle,  to  be  found  in  secular  history,  of  great 
monsters  of  the  sea  which  are  only  able  to  swallow 
their  prey  entire,  or  to  break  it  in  pieces.  But  when 
we  come  to  remember  what  God   purposed  by  this 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  279 

history,  when  we  see  first  the  sublime  idea  of  this 
history  —  the  pity  of  God  upon  the  Gentiles, —  and 
how  God  afterwards  would,  through  Israel  and  through 
Him  who  was  typified  by  Jonah,  command  men 
everywhere  to  repent  and  to  turn  to  His  love — when 
we  remember  how  our  blessed  Saviour  repeatedly 
alluded  to  this  book  of  Jonah  in  both  its  aspects,  first, 
as  typifying  Himself, — His  being  buried  in  the  earth 
and  afterwards  raised  again  from  the  grave, — and, 
secondly,  as  referring  also  to  the  repentance  of  the 
Ninevites  who  would  stand  up  in  judgment  against 
those  who  did  not  obey  the  voice  of  Him  who  was 
greater  than  Jonah  —  then  we  see  the  magnificence 
of  this  book,  and  we  see  also  that  this  miracle  is  not 
a  grotesque  prodigy  of  human  imagination,  but  the 
manifestation  of  Him  who  is  perfect  wisdom  and 
perfect  love. 

And  so  also  of  the  miracles  that  are  recorded  in 
the  book  of  Daniel.  The  great  besetting  sin  of 
Nebuchadnezzar,  and  afterwards  of  Darius  and  all  of 
these  mighty  men,  was  pride,  as  if  they  by  their  own 
wisdom  had  built  up  these  great  and  mighty  empires. 
And  how  easy  it  was  for  them  to  suppose  that  the 
God  of  Israel  was  a  weak  God,  for  if,  as  Sennacherib 
afterwards  said.  He  were  a  strong  God,  how  could 
He  have  allowed  His  nation  to  be  subjugated  by 
other  nations  ?  Therefore  God  showed  to  Nebu- 
chadnezzar and  to  Darius  that  He  was  the  God  and 
the  only  God,  and  that  although  He  allowed  Israel, 
on  account  of  Israel's  sin,  to  be  chastised  by  them, 
and  to  be  taken  into  captivity  by  them,  yet  His 
power  was  an  infinite  power,  neither  was  His  love  to 
Israel  a  love  which  could  ever  change  or  falter.  And 
the    efiect    of    these    miracles    we    can    see   in    that 


2So  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

wonderful  edict  of  Cyrus.  Cyrus  says  that  he  has 
written  this  edict  in  obedience  to  the  God  of  the 
Jews,— to  Jehovah.  But  I  want  now  to  show  how 
all  these  miracles  were  preparatory,  and  how  they 
were  intimately  connected  with  our  blessed  Saviour 
Jesus  Christ. 

All  that  is  supernatural  in  the  Old  Testament, 
all  that  is  miraculous  in  the  Old  Testament,  has  its 
explanation,  has  its  root  and  its  purpose,  in  Christ 
Jesus.  You  who  are  Christians  understand  that  on 
different  occasions  God  spoke  to  Abraham,  God 
spoke  to  Moses,  and  appeared  to  Abraham  and  ap- 
peared to  Moses.  The  glory  of  the  Lord  was  seen, 
between  the  Cherubim,  in  the  Holy  of  Holies.  That 
was  supernatural,  but  all  this  happened  only  because 
in  the  fulness  of  time  God  appeared.  He  was 
made  manifest  in  flesh.  We  beheld  His  glory,  the 
glory  as  of  the  Only  Begotten  of  the  Father.  The 
Shekinah  tabernacled  in  Him  who  tabernacled 
and  dwelt  among  us.  And  if  God  spoke.  His  ulti- 
mate and  His  perfect  message  to  mankind  was 
given  by  Jesus,  and  Jesus  Himself  is  the  Word,  in 
which  all  the  thoughts  and  purposes  of  God  are 
expressed. 

Look  we  to  miracles.  God  acts  ;  God  heals 
the  sick  ;  God  forgives  sin  ;  God  subdues  the 
powers  of  nature.  God  is  stronger  than  Satan 
and  will  vanquish  him.  God  is  able  to  raise  the 
dead.  Jesus  says,  "  Thy  sins  are  forgiven."  Jesus 
cleanses  the  leper  ;  Jesus  restores  to  the  blind  their 
sight ;  Jesus  rebukes  the  storm  ;  Jesus  conquers 
devils  ;  Jesus  raises  the  dead.  And  if  God  in  the 
Old  Testament  performed  the  miracles  by  the  agency 
of  men  who  had  faith — by  faith  Moses  did  this  and 


NO  BASJS  IN  REASON  281 

this — SO  did  Jesus  also  by  faith  do  miracles,  by 
the  finger  of  God,  trusting  in  God,  doing  the  things 
which  His  Father  showed  Him,  and  doing  the  works 
because  the  Father  was  in  Him,  and  He  in  the 
Father.  Wonderful  double  relation  of  Jesus  !  He 
does  the  miracle  by  His  own  power — "  My  Father 
worketh  hitherto  and  I  work."  He  raises  the  dead, 
because  He  is  the  Resurrection  and  the  Life,  and, 
at  the  same  time.  He  thanks  God  at  the  grave  of 
Lazarus,  because  the  Father  always  hears  Him. 
What  a  meeting  of  the  two  lines  is  there  here. 
Theophany:  God  appears;  God's  glory  is  manifested; 
God  does  miracles.  Jesus  appears  ;  Jesus'  glory  is 
manifested  ;  Jesus  works  miracles — that  is  one  line  : 
and  the  other  line  that  the  faithful  Israelite,  the  servant 
of  the  Lord,  trusting  in  God,  doeth  marvels.  Jesus 
who  is  both  the  Son  and  the  servant,  believing  in  the 
Father  and  communing  with  the  Father,  showing  great 
signs,  as  in  the  raising  of  Lazarus — "  The  sickness  was 
not  unto  death,  but  that  the  Son  of  God  should  be 
glorified  "  because  He  is  God — namely,  that  Jehovah, 
who  says,  "  My  glory  will  I  not  give  to  another." 
He  has  given  it  from  all  eternity  to  His  Son  who  is 
one  uuth  Him.  And  afterwards  Jesus  says,  "  Did  I 
not  tell  thee  that  if  thou  wouldst  believe  thou  shouldst 
see  the  glory  of  God,"  for  greater  contrast  there  could 
not  be  than  between  a  body  mouldering  in  the  grave 
when  corruption  has  already  made  itself  manifest, 
and  the  glory  of  Him  who  is  the  Creator  of  heaven 
and  earth,  and  who  shall  raise  the  dead  and  introduce 
His  everlasting  kingdom.  So  in  Christ  Jesus  all 
the  supernatural  and  all  the  miraculous  finds  its 
confirmation.  But  more  than  that,  it  is  very  difficult 
for  people  to  believe  that  miracles  happened  in  the 


282  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

past,  if  they  do  not  believe  that  miracles  will  happen 
again  in  the  future.  The  history  of  the  world  ac- 
cording to  them  is  most  unsymmetrical.  There  is 
no  architectural  order  in  it.  There  first  comes  a 
period  in  which  there  are  miracles — the  appearing 
of  God  Himself,  and  the  action  of  God  Himself — and 
then  there  comes  a  long  period  in  which  there  are  no 
miracles, — and  that  period  is  to  be  ended  suddenly, 
abruptly,  and  without  any  transition,  by  the  eternal 
condition,  at  the  last  Judgment.  Not  such  is  the  view 
of  Scripture.  When  Jesus  Christ  rose  from  the  dead 
we  were  born  again  unto  a  lively  hope  and  unto  an 
inheritance  which  is  incorruptible  and  undefiled  and 
that  fadeth  not  away,  reserved  in  heaven  for  those 
who  are  waiting  for  the  things  that  shall  be  revealed 
to  them,  at  the  appearing  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 
The  resurrection  of  Jesus  Christ  was  the  beginning. 
It  is  the  future.  Looking  back  (becau-se  time  does  not 
come  in  here)  : — What  Jesus  is.  He  is  to  all  believers, 
whether  they  lived  before  the  advent  or  after  the  ad- 
vent, and  in  Him  is  contained  the  actual  beginning 
of  that  new  period  in  the  world's  history,  when  God 
is  made  manifest.  So  the  prophet  Micah  says  that 
the  same  kind  of  miracles  shall  happen  again,  as 
hajapened  when  God  brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt  ; 
and  the  prophet  Jeremiah  says  that  when  God  shall 
bring  again  Israel,  whom  He  has  scattered,  all  the 
ends  of  the  earth  and  the  far-off  islands  shall  take 
notice  of  it,  and  shall  say,  "  What  wonderful  things 
God  has  done."  If  then  we  believe  this — that  the 
present  period  is  only  a  pause,  only  an  interval,  even 
as  there  were  400  years  between  Joseph  and  the 
call  of  Moses,  and  as  there  were  400  years 
between    the    prophet    Malachi    and    the   appearing 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  283 

of  the  angel  to  the  father  of  John  the  Baptist — 
if  we  beheve  that,  in  these  pauses,  God  is  still  the 
same  God,  and  that  just  as  a  great  musician  puts 
the  thought  of  melody,  not  merely  in  the  notes 
which  we  hear,  but  also  in  the  pauses — the  rhythm  of 
the  silence  of  these  being  part  and  parcel  of  the  great 
idea  —  so  shall  He  come  again,  and  there  shall 
begin  again  the  mighty  manifestations  and  acts  of 
God.  And  in  the  intermediate  time  is  there  not 
miracle  ?  Have  there  not  been  miracles  since  Jesus 
went  up  to  heaven,  and  since  the  last  of  the  miracles 
performed  by  the  apostles  ?  Is  not  every  one  that 
is  convinced  of  sin  and  brought  to  love  Jesus  a 
miracle  ?  Is  it  not  the  Holy  Ghost  Himself  who 
has  quickened  him  ?  Is  it  not  the  power  put  forth 
by  Jesus  Himself?  I  when  "  I  am  lifted  up"  am  a 
prince  and  a  Saviour  to  give  repentance  and  the 
remission  of  sins.  Is  not  God's  answering  prayer 
a  miracle  ?  When  God  gives  to  a  man,  who  by 
nature  is  impatient  and  proud,  meekness  and  patience, 
is  not  that  a  miracle  ?  When  God  enlightens  our 
hearts,  when  God  subdues  our  sins  under  us,  is  not 
this  a  miracle  ?  There  is  a  continuous  current  of 
miracle  in  the  present  dispensation.  To  the  out- 
ward world  it  is  not  striking — "  The  world  seeth  me 
no  more,  but  ye  shall  see  me,  and  your  hearts  shall 
rejoice  and  your  joy  no  man  can  take  from  you." 
Thus  then  we  believe  in  God  in  the  past,  God  in  the 
present,  God  who  will  come  again. 

And  in  conclusion,  children  of  God,  do  not  imagine 
that  what  the  Bible  tells  us  of  miracle  is  to  make  us 
less  thoughtful,  or  to  make  us  less  appreciative  of 
that  wonderful  first  creation  in  which  He  has  placed 
us.      It    is    not    to    make    us    think    nature    of   no 


284  OBJECTIONS  TO  MIRACLE  HAVE 

importance,  because  miracles  are  more  striking,  but, 
on  the  contrary,  it  is  to  rouse  our  dormant  sense, 
that  we  may  adore  God  in  all  the  wonderful  works 
which  He  has  made,  in  the  sun  which  rules  by  day 
and  in  the  moon  and  stars  which  shine  by  night,  in 
the  beautiful  and  striking  way  in  which  He  renews, 
every  year,  the  face  of  nature, — in  the  lilies  which 
grow,  because  God  clothes  them.  Oh  how  beautiful 
in  the  Psalms,  when  the  psalmist  speaks  of  God  who 
created  the  heavens  and  the  earth,  and  who  created 
the  sun,  the  moon  and  the  stars,  and  afterwards  goes 
on  to  say,  "  Who  delivered  our  fathers  out  of  Egypt 
and  led  them  through  the  Red  Sea."  It  appears 
there  as  if  he  thought  everything  miraculous,  and 
as  if  the  Jews  had  no  idea  of  nature  apart  from 
miracle.  Oh,  far  from  that.  But  this  is  what  the 
psalmist  wishes  to  show  to  us.  It  is  because  of  these 
mighty  miracles,  that  now  we  have  an  eye  open  and 
a  heart  open  to  adore  God  in  all  the  wonderful 
works  of  the  first  creation.  And  how  beautifully  He 
attributes  everything,  not  to  the  power  of  God,  or  to 
the  wisdom  of  God,  or  to  the  sovereignty  of  God. 
Why  did  God  create  sun,  moon,  and  stars  ?  Why 
does  He  watch  over  nature,  year  by  year,  and  bring 
forth  the  seasons  in  their  order?  Because  His 
mercy  endureth  for  ever; — that  salvation -mercy 
which  brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt,  and  which  after- 
wards sent  to  us  His  own  blessed  Son.  It  is  because 
of  His  mercy,  that  all  things  are  around  us  to  praise 
Him  and  to  magnify  His  holy  name.  And  is  the 
miraculous  character  of  Bible  history  to  put,  as  it 
were,  providence  into  the  background,  so  that  we 
may  not  notice  it  or  admire  it  ?  Oh  that  be  far  from 
us.      It  is  just  because  we  believe  in  the  living  God 


NO  BASIS  IN  REASON  285 

who  hath  done  great  miracles  and  will  do  them  again, 
that  we  are  sure  that  not  even  a  sparrow  can  fall  to 
the  ground  without  His  will,  that  the  very  hairs  of 
our  head  are  numbered,  that  He  knows  our  daily 
steps,  and  that  He  takes  cognisance  of  our  daily 
difficulties  and  duties.  Believe  then  in  God.  That 
is  the  sum  of  all  things.  As  Jesus  said  to  the 
disciples,  "  Have  faith  in  God." 


XIV 

THE  DOCTRINAL,  TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 
ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL 

The  doctrinal,  typical,  and  prophetical  aspects  of  the  history  of  Israel — 
These  all  combined,  and  to  be  viewed  in  combination — Doctrine 
viewed  alone  becomes  metaphysical,  losing  vitality  ;  the  history 
alone  becomes  lifeless ;  types  alone  become  fanciful — -Scripture 
history  throughout  written  in  the  prophetic  spirit — Prophecy  re- 
lates not  only  to  the  future,  but  to  the  revealing  of  God's  mind — 
The  whole  object  of  the  Scripture  to  reveal  God,  and  to  show 
how  man  may  come  into  communion  with  God — The  personal 
revelations  of  God  in  the  Old  Testament  pointed  to  incarnation — 
God  to  be  present  with  them — Yet  the  Deliverer  to  be  a  man,  the 
seed  of  the  woman  and  Son  of  David,  etc. — Resume  of  the  books 
showing  their  relations — First  three  chapters  of  Genesis — Election 
of  Abraham — Jews  and  Gentiles  in  the  future  perfected  Church. 

The  .subject  upon  which  I  enter  this  morning  is  the 
doctrinal,  typical,  and  prophetical  aspects  of  the  hi.story 
of  Israel.  My  remarks  will  have  as  their  centre 
the  person  of  Abraham  ;  and  I  hope  in  my  next 
lecture  to  continue  the  subject,  taking  as  the  start- 
ing-point Moses,  and  to  conclude  the  subject  this 
day  fortnight,  if  it  please  God,  taking  for  the  starting- 
point  David. 

The  combination  of  history,  teaching,  prophecy 
and  type  which  we  find  in  Scripture  is  so  perfect  and 
excellent,  that  it  is  extremely  difficult  to  give  a  correct 
view  of  each  of  these  component  parts  separately.      If 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  2S7 

we  look  at  the  doctrine  apart  from  the  history,  the 
tendency  is  to  represent  the  doctrine  in  an  abstruse 
and  metaphysical  method,  lacking  all  the  vitality, 
fragrance,  and  affectionateness  which  we  find  inter- 
twined in  the  Scripture  statements,  with  the  dealings 
of  God,  and  the  development  of  the  history  of  redemp- 
tion. If  the  history  which  is  recorded  in  Scripture  is 
viewed  apart  from  the  prophecies,  which  are  still  to  be 
fulfilled  in  the  future,  the  danger  is  that  the  history 
may  be  regarded  merely  in  its  abstract  and  doctrinal 
point  of  view,  and  that  great  violence  may  be  done 
to  it,  by  an  interpretation  which  chooses  to  call  itself 
spiritual,  but  which  after  all  is  carnal,  because  it  does 
not  submit  itself  to  the  wisdom  of  God.  Rather 
should  it  be  called  phantomising,  in  not  fully  seeing 
that  the  history  was  an  actual  and  concrete  reality, 
even  as  the  Son  of  God,  who  came  down  from  heaven, 
really  and  truly  was  made  flesh.  For  that  reason 
the  continuous  and  diligent  study  of  Scripture  is  ab- 
solutely necessary,  and  nothing  can  take  the  place  of 
Scripture — not  the  most  perfect  and  skilfully  framed 
creeds,  not  the  most  thoughtful  and  earnest  preaching. 
As  we  find  that  God  has  provided  all  over  the  earth 
certain  springs  which  possess  healing  power,  — 
chemistry  is  able  to  analyse  them,  chemistry  is  also 
able  to  produce  artificially  a  compound  containing 
the  same  elements,  but  nothing  that  human  skill  can 
prepare  is  exactly  the  same  as  that  which  Nature 
herself  produces — so  is  it  with  that  teaching  which 
God  has  given  to  us  in  His  own  Word.  Botany 
may  describe  very  accurately  a  plant,  but  it  is  quite 
a  different  thing,  which  even  the  ignorant  can 
enjoy,  to  see  the  plant,  and  to  be  impressed  directly 
with   its  organic  unity,  with   its  beauty  or  with  its 


288   THE  DOCTRINAL,    TYPICAL,  AND  rTOPIIETICAL 

fragrance.  Every  one  who  sees  a  splendid  build 
ing  is  immediately  impressed  with  the  harmony, 
and  the  majesty,  and  the  beauty  of  the  building, 
but  very  few  people  would  be  able  to  understand  the 
architect's  plan  of  that  building,  as  it  is  sketched 
upon  paper.  Therefore  God,  who  in  great  wisdom  and 
love  has  framed  the  history  of  His  people,  and  has 
also  caused  the  Scripture  to  be  written  by  inspiration 
of  the  Holy  Ghost,  has  provided  for  the  poor  and 
lowly,  and  has  bound  us  to  the  continual  and  diligent 
study  of  the  Scriptures,  for  only  in  this  way  can 
His  great  purpose  be  fulfilled  in  us,  that,  through 
the  Scriptures,  we  may  be  brought  into  harmony 
and  communion  with  Himself,  and  be  made  heirs 
of  salvation. 

The  Scripture  history  is  throughout  written  in 
the  prophetic  spirit,  for  the  great  object  in  that  history 
is  to  show  to  us  God's  will  concerning  us,  His  purposes 
concerning  the  human  race,  what  man  is  to  think 
concerning  God,  and  what  life  it  is  that  God  requires 
of  man.  But  the  acts  of  God  are  so  sublime,  and 
so  full  of  manifold  wisdom,  that  it  would  have  been 
impossible  for  Israel  and  for  us  to  understand  them, 
unless  they  had  always  been  accompanied  by  the 
Word. 

It  is  quite  true,  as  the  proverb  says,  that  facts 
speak,  and  so  do  those  facts  which  are  recorded  in 
Scripture,  but  still  it  is  necessary  that  they  should 
be  accompanied  by  the  teaching  given  by  God 
Himself, — and  this  teaching  we  may  call  prophetic, 
not  merely  because  it  relates  to  the  future,  but 
because  it  reveals  God  and  His  mind.  Therefore 
God  says  through  the  prophet  Amos  that  there  is 
nothing     that    the     Lord    God     ever    does    without 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  2S9 

revealing  His  secret,  that  is  to  say,  His  plan  and 
His  idea  to  His  servants  the  prophets.  And  thus 
it  is  said  by  David  that  God  made  known  His 
ways  to  Moses  and  His  acts  to  the  children  of 
Israel  ;  that  is,  so  to  speak,  the  meaning  and  the 
philosophy  were  made  known  to  the  prophet,  the 
outward  fulfilment  and  embodiment  were  seen  by  all 
the  people.  And  here  it  is  very  remarkable  that 
the  mysterious  man  of  whom  I  spoke  in  my  last 
lecture, — Balaam, — to  whom  in  the  New  Testament 
there  corresponds  Simon  Magus,  saw  the  dilTerence 
that  there  was  between  heathen  prophecy,  and 
prophecy  among  the  people  of  God,  for  he  declares, 
that  among  God's  people  there  is  no  divination  and 
soothsaying,  as  among  the  heathen.  Out  of  a  great 
desire  to  know  the  future,  whether  a  god  would 
prosper  or  not  some  war  expedition,  they  consulted 
oracles.  There  were  men  and  women  who  had 
some  natural  gift  of  seeing  into  the  future,  and 
who  were  often  possessed  by  some  demon.  These 
persons  excited  themselves,  by  all  kinds  of  outward 
and  physical  means,  into  a  state  of  ecstasy,  and, 
from  observing  physical  signs,  they  predicted  the 
future  in  a  most  ambiguous  manner,  —  purposely 
ambiguous, — and  often  their  predictions  came  to 
nothing.  But  not  thus  was  it  to  be  in  Israel.  There 
was  to  be  no  divination  of  that  kind  in  Israel,  because 
God  Himself  at  the  proper  time,  in  every  critical 
juncture,  would  show  to  Israel  by  His  servants  the 
prophets,  the  purpose  which  He  purposed  in  Himself 
And  as  thus  the  history  was  always  accompanied 
by  doctrine,  and  was  always  accompanied  by  the 
interpretation  given  by  the  prophets,  so  the  history 
was  always  connected  with  the  promise  of  the  future, 

U 


290    THE  DOCTRINAL,    TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETLCAL 

for  it  was  all  pointing  towards  the  appointed  end. 
Likewise  the  history  itself  was  a  prophecy  of  the 
future.  As  the  proverb  says,  "  History  repeats 
itself,"  or  "  Coming  events  cast  their  shadows  before 
them."  The  whole  history  of  God,  in  His  relations, 
so  to  speak,  with  mankind  and  with  Israel,  was  a 
continual  repetition  of  the  same  idea  and  the  same 
action  on  God's  part,  which  were  at  last  perfectly  ful- 
filled in  Jesus  Christ.  Thus  the  explanation  of  words 
in  doctrine,  the  promise  of  the  future  in  prophecy,  and 
the  prefiguration  of  that  which  was  coming  in  type, 
continually  went  side  by  side — one  illustrating  and 
confirming  the  other,  and  all  keeping  pace  together  ; 
that  is  to  say,  God  did  not  predict  anything,  of  which 
the  beginning  was  not  already  intelligible,  to  those 
to  whom  the  message  was  sent. 

You  see  from  this,  that  the  exposition  of  the  Old 
Testament  in  one  respect  is  very  complex, — but  to 
us  who  are  living  in  the  days  of  fulfilment  there 
is  given  most  abundant  light,  and  we  are  provided 
with  the  clue  which  is  to  lead  us  safely  to  mani- 
fold and  yet  united  preparation — for  Jesus  Christ 
is  the  end,  the  consummation  of  all  things.  He  is 
the  end  of  the  Jewish  history.  This  you  can  see 
from  the  genealogy  in  the  book  of  Matthew. 
Abraham  is  chosen  that  he  may  lead  to  David. 
David  is  not  the  fulfilment,  and  therefore  the  gene- 
alogy goes  on  to  the  Babylonish  captivity.  From 
the  Babylonish  captivity  there  are  fourteen  genera- 
tions which  lead  up  to  Jesus, — and  in  Him  the  whole 
Jewish  history  reached  its  culminating  point,  but  not 
its  termination.  The  Jewish  history  is  complete  in 
Christ,  and  the  future  of  the  Jewish  history  is  secured 
in  Christ,  but  it  has  not  come  to  an  end,  and  there- 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  291 

fore  they  do  greatly  err  who  suppose  that  the  Jewish 
history  ends  with  the  first  advent  and  the  Christian 
Church.  Rather,  in  the  first  advent  of  Jesus  Christ, 
is  the  foundation  laid,  upon  which  the  yet  future 
history  of  Israel  is  to  be  constructed,  for  He  was  a 
minister  of  the  circumcision  to  confirm  the  promises 
which  were  given  to  our  father  Abraham.  The  law 
is  fulfilled  in  Christ.  Christ  is  the  end  of  the  law 
to  every  one  that  believeth  in  Him, — and  thus,  in  a 
manifold  way,  the  negative  aspect  of  the  law  is 
fulfilled.  Having  confessed  our  sin,  and  seeing  that 
the  curse  of  God  rests  upon  every  one  that  abideth 
not  in  the  law,  Christ  has  removed  the  curse  and 
delivered  us  from  the^  sentence  of  the  law,  because 
He  has  delivered  us  from  the  guilt  which  we  have 
incurred  ;  but,  more  than  that,  the  righteousness  of 
the  law  is  fulfilled  in  us,  who  walk  not  after  the 
flesh  but  after  the  spirit,  and  therefore,  to  them  that 
are  in  Christ  Jesus,  the  law  is  no  longer  outside  of 
them  as  a  foreign  power,  but  the  law  by  the  Holy 
Ghost  has  been  put  within  them,  by  Christ's  dwell- 
ing in  them.  But  although  this  is  perfectly  true, 
Christ  has  not  done  away  with  the  law  of  Moses  in 
its  social  and  in  its  national  aspect,  but  every  jot 
and  tittle  of  this  law  will  yet  be  realised  and  fulfilled, 
when  God  will  make  a  new  covenant  with  Israel 
and  put  His  Spirit  within  them.  Then  shall  they 
walk  in  all  the  statutes  and  ordinances  and  precepts 
which  God  gave  to  them  through  Moses.  So  also 
are  all  the  prophecies  fulfilled  in  Christ  Jesus,  and 
yet  not  one  prophecy  is  fulfilled  perfectly.  If  we 
separate  the  first  from  the  second  advent  of  Christ, 
it  is  impossible  for  us  to  explain  the  prophecies. 
The  New  Testament  fulfilment  is  the  key  to  open  the 


292     THE  DOCTRINAL,    TYPICAL,  AND  PKOniETICAL 

lock,  but  there  is  a  way  of  opening  the  lock  and 
spoiling  the  wards  of  the  lock,  displacing  them, 
injuring  them,  destroying  them.  Not  thus  must  we 
apply  the  fulfilment  to  the  promises,  by  explaining 
away  in  an  artificial  method,  what  is  most  clearly 
taught.  When  Christ  said  in  the  synagogue  of 
Nazareth,  "  This  day  is  this  Scripture  fulfilled  in 
your  ears,"  He  said  so  truly,  because  He  is  the  ful- 
filment of  the  Scripture,  and  yet  that  very  Scripture 
was  not  completely  fulfilled,  for  the  day  of  vengeance 
had  not  come.  That  day  was  still  in  the  future. 
When  we  read  that  the  Messiah  that  was  promised 
to  Israel  has  come,  this  is  true,  but  it  is  not  yet  per- 
fectly fulfilled,  because  in  the  days  of  the  Messiah  it 
is  said  that  the  nations  shall  learn  war  no  more  and 
that  there  shall  be  peace  everywhere,^ — and  we  know 
perfectly  well  that  this  is  not  the  case  now.  Christ 
is  the  fulfilment  of  all  the  Old  Testament  prophecies. 
When  we  view,  Christ  both  in  His  first  advent  and 
also  in  His  second  advent,  then  we  have  in  Christ 
Jesus  as  He  came,  and  as  we  expect  Him  to  come, 
the  explanation  of  the  history  of  the  law  and  of  the 
promises,  and  also  the  fulfilment  of  the  types,  for  the 
types,  both  in  what  they  are,  and  are  not,  able  to  re- 
present, have  now  found  their  end  in  Jesus  Christ,  in 
whom  everything  that  God  has  provided  for  His 
people  is  treasured  up,  and  the  fulness  of  the  God- 
head dwelleth  bodily. 

But  to  make  this  subject  still  clearer  and  simpler, — 
my  wish  is  to  impress  upon  you  that,  notwithstanding 
all  the  complex  and  manifold  character  of  the  Old 
Testament  revelation,  which  was  unfolded  very  slowly 
"  at  sundry  times,  and  in  divers  manners,"  and  in 
which  there  were  a  great  many  elements  combined. 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  293 

that  appear  to  us  at  first  sight  not  to  be  spiritual  but 
rather  ephemeral — notwithstanding  all  this,  there 
was  great  simplicity  and  great  unity.  In  Christ 
Jesus  we  have  God  and  man.  The  whole  object  of 
the  Scripture,  and  the  whole  object  of  God  Him- 
self is  to  reveal  God,  as  we  may  know  Him,  and 
also  to  show  how  man  may  come  into  communion 
with  God.  And  this  can  only  be  realised  in  Jesus 
Christ,  who  is  both  God  and  man.  He  is  the  Son 
of  God.  He  is  the  Son  of  man.  He  came  down 
from  heaven.  He  was  born  in  Bethlehem,  He 
was  sent  of  the  Father :  He  came  of  His  own 
accord.  He  was  the  Son  of  Abraham  and  yet 
Jehovah,  "  Before  Abraham  was,  I  Am."  He  is  the 
Son  of  David,  and  yet  He  is  David's  Lord.  Now 
these  two  lines  which  we  see  united  in  Christ  are  so 
wonderful  that  it  is  impossible  for  us  to  explain  the 
mode  in  which  they  are  united,  so  that  the  incarnation, 
and  the  history  which  dates  from  the  incarnation, 
must  remain  a  mystery  to  us, — though  we  see  the  fact, 
and  we  are  convinced  and  impressed  by  that  wonder- 
ful gift  which  has  been  bestowed  upon  us,  in  One 
who  is  both  God  and  man  in  one  person, — a  truth 
revealed  in  the  Old  Testament,  in  its  two  separate 
aspects. 

We  have  two  lines  in  the  Old  Testament,  which  it 
must  have  been  very  difficult  for  the  saints  in  those 
days  to  combine.  The  first  line  is  from  heaven  to 
earth.  God  wishes  to  reveal  Himself  He  appears  ; 
He  speaks  ;  He  reveals  Himself  in  the  form  of  the 
angel  of  the  covenant.  That  angel  of  the  covenant 
speaks  as  Jehovah  ;  He  gives  promises  which  only 
divine  wisdom  and  omnipotence  can  give,  and  they 
to  whom   He  appears  say  "  We  have  seen   Jehovah." 


294    THE  DOCTRINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

It  is  of  this  angel  of  the  covenant  that  we  read,  that 
He  appeared  to  Moses  in  the  burning  bush  and  said 
to  him,  "  I  am  the  God  of  Abraham,  and  Isaac,  and 
Jacob."  This  angel,  in  whom  was  the  presence  of 
God  and  the  countenance  of  God,  was  He  who  led 
them  through  the  wilderness.  It  was  again  a  theo- 
phany  which  was  vouchsafed  to  the  prophet  Isaiah, 
and  afterwards  it  is  explained  to  us  that  Isaiah  beheld 
Christ  and  His  glory.  In  the  similitude  of  the  Son  of 
man,  God  was  again  seen  by  Ezekiel  and  by  Daniel, 
until  the  last  prophets  most  distinctly  describe  to  us 
that  the  Lord  Jehovah  Himself  will  come.  And  yet 
this  Jehovah  that  comes  distinguishes  Himself  from 
the  Jehovah  that  sends  Him.  And  in  that  last  pro- 
phecy of  Malachi,  it  is  said  that  there  should  be  sent 
a  messenger  to  go  before  the  face  of  Jehovah.  In 
all  these  manifestations,  we  see  God  appearing,  making 
Himself  visible  and  revealing  Himself  as  the  redeem- 
ing, delivering,  helping,  and  friendly  God  to  the  saints, 
until  we  come  to  God  manifest  in  the  flesh. 

But  there  is  another  line  in  the  Old  Testament 
going  from  earth  heavenwards,  for  from  the  beginning 
of  the  history,  God's  people  were  told  that  they  were 
to  be  delivered  through  a  man,  the  seed  of  the 
woman,  one  who  belongs  to  Shem,  the  seed  of 
Abraham,  one  of  the  tribe  of  Judah,  the  Son  of 
David,  the  servant  of  God,  the  root  of  Jesse,  growing 
up  out  of  a  dry  ground.  Now  as  they  saw  God 
coming  down  from  heaven,  and  then  saw  man  going 
up  to  heaven, — how  difficult  must  it  have  been  for 
them  to  combine  those  two  lines.  When  Jesus  says 
"  Salvation  is  of  the  Jews,"  when  the  prophet  Jonah 
says  "  Salvation  is  of  Jehovah,"  Jesus  is  the  ex- 
planation and  combination  of  the  two  things,  for  He 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  295 

who  came  out   of  Israel,  out   of  this  earth,  was  none 
other  than  the  Only  Begotten  of  the  Father. 

Let  me  for  a  icw  moments  remind  you  of  the 
historical  books  as  they  are  given  to  us,  and  of  the 
unity  which  they  form.  There  are  first  the  five 
books  of  Moses  upon  which  the  whole  building 
rests,  and  these  five  books  of  Moses  are  inseparable. 
Exodus  shows  how  God  redeemed  Israel  out  of 
Egypt  and  brought  Israel  to  Himself.  Leviticus 
shows  us  how  this  redeemed  nation  was  sanctified 
to  God  by  the  institution  of  the  priesthood,  of  the 
sacrifices,  and  of  the  festivals.  Numbers  shows  us 
how  this  nation  was  disciplined  in  the  wilderness, 
and  the  utter  failure  of  the  nation  to  accomplish 
their  destiny  in  the  person  of  Aaron,  and  even  in  the 
person  of  Moses  himself,  who,  on  account  of  his  sin, 
and  because  he  did  not  fully  represent  the  character 
of  God,  was  excluded  from  entrance  into  the 
land  of  Canaan.  Now  it  is  impossible  that  the 
history  could  conclude  with  the  book  of  Numbers, 
because  then  it  would  conclude  as  it  were  with 
sunset,  in  the  darkness  of  despondency.  Therefore 
in  the  book  of  Deuteronomy,  Moses  appears  as 
a  prophet,  showing  the  loving-kindness  of  the  Lord, 
and  how,  notwithstanding  all  the  unfaithfulness  of 
Israel  and  his  own  imperfection  and  sin,  God  would 
carry  out  His  plan.  Immediately  after  the  book  of 
Deuteronomy  there  comes  the  book  of  Joshua  which 
is  joined  to  the  book  of  Deuteronomy  by  the  con- 
junction "  and."  As  the  book  of  Joshua  joins 
Deuteronomy  by  "  and,"  so  the  book  of  the  Judges 
joins  the  book  of  Joshua  by  saying  "  And  after  the 
death  of  Joshua."  Judges  and  the  two  books  of 
Samuel  are  connected  together  in  the  same  way,  for 


296    THE  DOCTRINAL,  TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

in  the  book  of  Samuel,  Samuel  is  represented  as 
judging  Israel  ;  he  was,  as  it  were,  the  last  of 
the  Judges,  and  the  connecting  link  with  David. 
The  two  books  of  Samuel  and  the  two  books  of 
Kings  are  so  blended  and  joined  together  that,  in 
the  Septuagint,  they  are  called  "  The  four  books  of 
Samuel  "  and  they  bring  the  history  of  Israel  down 
to  the  captivity, — concluding  with  a  gleam  of  hope  and 
sunshine.  Now  to  supplement  this  history  there  is 
another  book  of  history  given  to  us  the  object 
of  which  is  to  show,  how,  after  the  Babylonish 
captivity,  God's  people  were  restored  to  their  own 
land,  and  the  temple  service  and  the  priesthood  were 
revived.  And,  in  order  to  bring  this  clearly  before 
us,  it  was  necessary  to  give  again  the  genealogies  of 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  and  their  children,  and 
to  connect  them  with  the  beginning.  So  the  book  of 
Chronicles  begins  with  Adam — showing  to  us  the 
genealogies,  as  they  follow.  But  as  the  2nd  book 
of  Chronicles  ends  by  telling  us  how  Cyrus  gave 
permission  to  the  Jews  to  return  to  their  own  land, 
the  identical  two  verses  open  the  book  of  Ezra,  and 
in  Ezra  and  Nehemiah  we  have  an  account  of 
what  formed  the  beginning  of  the  new  period  of 
Israel's  history  ;  so  all  these  books  are  united  and 
compacted  together,  and  all  have  one  object  in  view, 
and  what  is  important  to  that  object  is  narrated, 
and  what  is  not  important  to  that  object  is  omitted, — 
however  important  it  may  appear  to  the  eyes  of 
the  mere  secular  or  world  historian.  But  Exodus 
would  have  no  meaning,  unless  it  was  preceded  by 
the  book  of  Genesis,  for  who  were  this  people  that 
Moses  was  called  to  bring  out  of  Egypt  ?  Who  was 
Abraham  ?  who  was  Isaac  ?  and  who  was  Jacob,  the 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  297 

God  of  whom  appears  to  Moses  and  gives  to  him 
that  wonderful  commission  ?  It  is  therefore  necessary 
that  there  should  precede  the  book  of  Exodus,  a 
book  to  explain  all  this  ;  and  so  we  have  not  merely 
the  history  of  the  patriarchs,  and  the  history  of 
Joseph,  by  whom  the  transition  was  made  from 
Canaan  into  Egypt, — but  to  understand  Abraham 
aright,  and  the  God  of  Abraham,  it  was  necessary 
also  to  have  the  history  of  the  creation  of  the  world, 
of  Adam,  and  of  Noah,  and  of  the  promises  which 
were  given  to  the  fathers.  Therefore  Genesis  is  the 
necessary  prologue  to  the  three  middle  books  of 
the  Pentateuch,  as  the  book  of  Deuteronomy  is  the 
epilogue. 

Now  look  at  the  first  three  chapters  of  the  book 
of  Genesis.  They  form  a  complete  whole  :  God  the 
creator  of  heaven  and  of  earth  :  man  created  in  the 
image  of  God,  as  the  culminating  point  of  God's 
creation  :  the  Sabbath  instituted  :  Paradise  described  : 
Eve  formed  out  of  Adam  :  sin  introduced  by  an 
adverse  spiritual  power :  the  consequences  of  sin, — 
death,  spiritual,  temporal,  and  everlasting  :  the 
immediate  result  of  sin,  the  conscience  acting  in 
man  and  accusing  him,  so  that  he  is  ashamed  and 
he  is  afraid  :  the  intervention  of  God,  in  His  great 
mercy  and  love,  revealing  the  deliverance  that  would 
be  brought  through  the  seed  of  the  woman,  by  One 
that  was  to  suffer,  and  also  describing  the  period 
which  was  now  to  commence,  when  the  judgment 
was  to  be  blended  with  mercy, — the  period  of  chastise- 
ment when  man,  through  a  severe  discipline,  was  to 
learn  the  meaning  of  life  and  was  to  be  exercised  unto 
godliness.  Then  there  was  the  manifestation  of  God 
Himself  at  the  entrance  of  Paradise.      Now  we  find 


298    THE  DOCTRINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

that  the  descendants  of  Adam,  as  Adam  and  Eve 
themselves,  understood  this  teaching.  They  had 
faith  in  God  the  Creator  omnipotent,  all-wise,  all- 
loving,  merciful  and  compassionate  to  them.  They 
knew  that  the  wages  of  sin  was  death  :  they  knew 
that  finally  there  was  to  come  a  Deliverer  who,  by 
His  own  sufferings,  was  to  gain  the  victory  over  death 
and  over  him  that  had  the  power  of  death.  They 
worshipped  God  in  the  way,  in  which  He  had 
appointed  ;  they  relied  upon  the  promise,  as  we 
can  see  from  the  words  of  Eve  at  the  birth  of 
Cain,  and  from  what  Lamech  said  at  the  birth  of 
Noah.  So  they  believed,  they  hoped,  they  prayed, 
and  they  served  God.  There  must  have  been  a 
manifestation  of  the  presence  of  the  Lord,  identified 
with  some  particular  place,  as  we  read  that  Cain  fled 
from  before  the  presence  of  the  Lord. 

Now  the  New  Testament  shows  to  us  the  deep 
meaning  of  this  history.  How  much  the  saints  of 
God  understood,  who  lived  in  those  days,  it  is 
impossible  for  us  to  define,  but  what  God  meant  us 
to  learn  by  this  history  is  made  manifest,  in  the 
writings  of  the  New  Testament,  for  the  promise  was 
all  along  developing  itself  The  human  race  was 
from  the  very  beginning  divided  into  the  seed  of  the 
woman  and  the  seed  of  the  serpent.  The  descend- 
ants of  Cain  who  left  God,  the  descendants  of  Seth 
who  knew  God,  called  upon  the  name  of  Jehovah,  for 
although  the  name  Jehovah,  in  the  fulness  of  its 
meaning,  was  only  disclosed  to  Israel  by  Moses, — 
just  as  the  meaning  of  God  being  the  Father  was  not 
fully  disclosed  to  Israel  until  Jesus  Christ  came, — yet 
they  knew  the  name  Jehovah  and  they  called  upon 
this  God   of  promise.      And   the  future  was  seen   by 


ASPECTS  OF  THE' HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  299 

them,  for  Enoch  prophesied  of  it,  in  which  prophecy 
he  saw  approximately  the  judgment  of  the  Flood,  but 
ultimately  also  the  final  appearing  of  Jehovah  with 
all  His  saints.  When  we  come  to  Noah  we  find  that 
there  is  a  new  beginning.  He  is  the  second  father 
of  the  human  race.  There  is  a  new  beginning — a 
beginning  which  was  made  only  possible  through 
judgment  and  deliverance.  And  here  we  meet  for 
the  first  time  with  that  remarkable  expression 
"  Covenant."  "  God  made  a  covenant."  Among  the 
heathen  nations,  such  an  idea,  as  that  of  the  Deity  or 
any  god  making  a  covenant,  would  have  been  incom- 
prehensible. They  only  understood  man's  offering  to 
the  gods,  as  it  were,  bribes  and  sacrifices  on  the  con- 
dition that  they  would  give  them  successes  in  some 
enterprise  which  they  undertook  ;  but  for  God,  in  His 
sovereignty  and  in  His  wonderful  love.  Himself  initiat- 
ing a  disposition  and  arrangement  of  things,  in  which, 
according  to  His  own  nature,  He  promised  blessings 
which  were  to  extend  over  centuries — nay,  unto  the 
end  of  history, — this  is  a  sublime  idea  which  is  only 
revealed  to  us  in  the  Scriptures.  Covenant,  in  the 
Scripture  sense,  is  not  a  compact  that  is  made 
between  two  parties,  and  which  is  nullified  by  either 
of  the  parties  not  fulfilling  the  conditions,  but  cove- 
nant, as  is  manifest  from  the  covenant  with  Noah,  is 
simply  a  promise  on  God's  part  that,  as  long  as  this 
dispensation  lasts.  He  will  not  destroy  the  world  again 
with  water,  and  that  the  four  seasons  are  to  succeed 
one  another, — and,  as  a  seal  of  that  gracious  arrange- 
ment which  God  made, — He  gave  to  Noah  and  his 
descendants  the  sign  of  the  bow  in  the  cloud.  And 
Noah  was  a  prophet,  for  to  him  was  revealed  the  future 
history  of  the  race — that  Shem  was  to  belong  specially 


300    THE  DOCTRINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

to  Jehovah,  and  that  Japheth  was  to  dwell  in  the  tents 
of  Shem.  And  thus  the  first  promise  which  was 
indefinite,  speaking  merely  of  the  seed  of  the 
woman,  received  a  more  definite  locality,  and  became 
limited  to  one  of  the  three  sections  of  the  human 
race — to  Shem. 

To  consider  next  the  election  of  Abraham.  There 
now  comes  a  period  in  the  history  of  the  world  where 
God,  who  hitherto  has  been  dealing  with  the  human 
race,  as  one,  consisting  simply  of  families,  leaves 
all  other  nations  to  themselves,  and  separates  to 
Him  one  nation,  that  among  them  He  may  kindle 
and  preserve  the  light  which  was  ultimately  to 
illumine  the  whole  world.  Just  as  we  see  in  the 
story  of  the  prodigal  that  the  younger  son  is  allowed 
by  the  father  to  leave  the  father's  house — not  without 
the  portion  of  goods  that  belong  to  him, — that  is 
the  reminiscence  of  the  primaeval  revelation,  and  the 
testimony  of  God  in  the  heart  and  conscience — and 
then  to  go  into  a  far  country,  so  it  was  that  all  the 
nations  of  the  world,  with  the  exception  of  the  nation 
that  was  elected  in  Abraham,  were  left  to  go  their  own 
ways.  These  were  the  times  of  ignorance.  And  the 
purpose  was  this — to  bring  out  what  was  in  man  apart 
from  God — "  The  world  by  wisdom  knew  not  God  " 
— and  to  show  what  was  the  character  of  sin,  when 
unrestrained  by  the  divine  law.  You  find  described 
in  the  ist  chapter  of  the  epistle  to  the  Romans  how 
the  nations  forgot  God,  and  because  they  forgot  God, 
because  they  were  unthankful,  they  were  given  up,  to 
work  out  the  evil  of  their  own  hearts  and  of  their  own 
souls.  And  yet,  notwithstanding  all  this,  during  this 
dispensation,  God  does  not  forget  the  Gentiles,  and, 
when   Abraham    and  the  patriarchs  and   Moses  are 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  301 

brought  into  contact  with  the  Gentiles,  they  never 
treat  them  as  if  they  were  outside,  as  it  were,  of  the 
goodness  and  the  wisdom  of  God,  but  ahvays  testify 
to  them  in  the  name  of  God,  and  appeal  to  that  which 
they  have  still  retained  in  their  remembrance,  of  the 
knowledge  of  the  Most  High.  But  the  question  still 
is  asked, — and  it  is  a  great  stumbling-block  to  many, 
whether  they  give  utterance  to  it  or  not,  Why  did 
God  for  so  many  centuries  restrict  Himself  to  one 
nation,  and  why  were  such  special  promises  given 
to  it  only  ?  The  reasons  that  are  given  to  us  in 
Scripture  are  manifold  and  are  very  satisfactory, 
although  it  is  impossible  for  us  to  understand  wholly 
the  counsel  of  God.  Even  the  apostle  Paul,  after 
having  devoted  three  chapters  to  explaining  the 
mystery  of  Israel,  bursts  forth  into  the  exclamation  : 
"  Oh,  the  depth  of  the  riches  both  of  the  wisdom  and 
knowledge  of  God  !  how  unsearchable  are  His  judg- 
ments, and  His  ways  past  finding  out."  It  was 
necessary  to  separate  Israel  in  order  that  the  fire 
should  be  kindled,  and  that  it  should  be  intense  in 
its  brightness  and  in  its  heat.  It  was  necessary  to 
hedge  round  Israel  from  all  the  other  nations  by  the 
strictest  injunctions,  lest  they  should  forget  the  know- 
ledge which  God  had  given  them,  and  become  con- 
taminated with  the  idolatry  and  abominations  of  the 
nations,  that  were  around  them.  It  was  necessary 
that  there  should  be  prepared  a  soil  out  of  which 
Christ,  born  of  the  Virgin  Mary,  was  to  appear.  He 
required  the  whole  of  the  Jewish  nation,  so  to  speak, 
from  whom  He  was  to  arise.  And  also  there  was 
to  be  a  godly  people  to  welcome  Him,  who  should 
form  afterwards  the  nucleus  of  the  Church  of  Christ. 
It  is  necessary  for  us  also  to  remember  that  this 


302    THE  DOCTRINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

election  of  Israel  has  a  spiritual  aspect.  Not  all  are 
Israel,  who  are  of  Israel.  Even  in  Israel  the  nation 
as  a  whole  does  not  obtain  the  election,  but  a  portion 
obtains  it.  It  was  not  a  carnal  descent.  It  was  not 
Ishmael  but  Isaac  ;  it  was  not  Esau  but  Jacob  ;  and 
therefore  of  those  who  are  really  descended  from 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  it  is  only  those  who  are 
godly,  spiritually  minded,  the  "  little  flock,"  to  whom 
pertaineth  the  promise.  So  that  in  Israel  also  there 
were  the  godly  and  the  ungodly,  the  righteous  and 
the  unrighteous,  the  wheat  and  the  chaff  And  that 
it  was  not  in  a  carnal  and  mere  outward  way,  that  God 
chose  them,  is  manifest  from  this — that  at  all  times, 
from  the  very  beginning,  there  was  the  greatest  facility 
afforded  to  those,  who  were  not  of  Abraham,  Isaac, 
and  Jacob,  to  be  joined  to  the  commonwealth  of  Israel. 
There  were  hundreds  and  thousands  of  strangers  from 
other  nations,  who  were  allowed  to  be  admitted  into 
the  Jewish  nation,  and  to  become  heirs  of  the  cove- 
nant. 

Lastly,  you  must  remember  this.  The  apostle 
Paul  considers  those  who  believe  in  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  to  be  the  representatives  of  the  nation.  The 
others,  although  numerically  they  were  the  majority, 
he  looks  upon  as  the  exception.  He  uses  the  ex- 
pression, "  And  what  if  some  have  not  believed  ? " 
Now  in  reality  the  "  some "  that  have  not  believed 
are  a  far  larger  number  than  those  that  have  believed, 
but  viewed  in  a  spiritual  light,  and  according  to  the 
reality  of  God,  they  are  only  the  exception.  The 
real  stem  of  the  nation  is  represented  by  those  who 
believe  in  Jesus  ;  and  when  Israel  is  restored  again 
to  its  own  land  and  the  times  are  fulfilled,  the  wall 
of  separation  between  Jew  and   Gentile,  which  has 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  303 

been  abolished  in  Christ  Jesus,  will  never  be  built 
up  again.  That  which  has  passed  away  will  not  be 
restored.  It  will  be  an  actual  and  real  re-establish- 
ment of  Israel  in  their  kingdom.  The  law  of  Moses 
will  be  revived  in  a  transfigured  way  according  to 
the  spirit  of  the  new  covenant,  but  the  union  between 
Israel  and  the  nations  who  believe  in  God  and  His 
Anointed  will  be  a  perfect  union,  and  from  among 
the  Gentiles,  there  will  be  chosen  to  be  in  Jerusalem 
and  in  the  Holy  Land,  those  who  hold  a  special 
position  in  Israel, — and  through  all  the  world  there 
will  be  offered  to  God  a  pure  offering,  because  they 
shall  know  His  name. 

Now  with  regard  to  Abraham,  we  read  the  ex- 
pression that  God  appeared  to  him.  God  appeared  to 
Abraham.  There  was  again  that  theophany  of  God, 
in  which  God  made  Himself  known  to  Abraham. 
And  to  Abraham  appeared  also  the  angel  of  the 
Lord,  who  said,  "  By  myself  have  I  sworn."  To 
Abraham  also  there  was  given  the  great  promise, 
and  that  promise  given  to  him  not  in  itself,  but 
in  the  form  of  a  covenant,  for  with  Abraham  God 
made  a  covenant  which  He  repeated  several  times, 
which  He  confirmed  with  an  oath,  which  He  ratified 
again  to  Isaac  and  Jacob,  and  upon  which  the 
whole  future  not  merely  of  Israel  rests,  but  also 
the  salvation  of  all  the  Gentiles  who  believe  in 
our  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  For  this  reason  Abraham 
is  not  merely  the  father  of  Israel  but  the  father  of 
all  the  faithful,  and  all  they  that  believe  in  Christ 
Jesus  are  of  the  seed  of  Abraham,  and  inheritors 
of  the  promises  given  to  him. 

Now  that  covenant  that  was  made  with  Abraham 
was,  as  the  covenant   with   Noah,  an    unconditional 


304     THE  DOCTKINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

covenant,  sovereign,  absolute,  unchangeable.  The 
transgressions  of  Israel,  even  though  they  culminate 
in  the  crucifixion  of  Jesus,  cannot  put  aside  that 
covenant,  for  the  gifts  and  calling  of  God  are 
without  repentance.  The  law,  which  came  400 
years  afterwards,  cannot  possibly  interfere  with  this 
covenant.  It  only  came  in,  by  way  of  parenthesis, 
to  make  sin  appear  exceeding  sinful,  and  to  heighten 
the  expectation  of  the  grace  of  God.  This  covenant 
with  Abraham  is  the  sovereignty  of  God,  into  which 
He  always  retreats,  whenever  the  sin  of  Israel  renders 
it  impossible  for  Him,  humanly  speaking,  to  go  on 
with  them,  for  the  history  of  Israel  would  otherwise 
often  have  come  to  a  standstill.  When  they  crucified 
Jesus  Christ,  how  would  it  have  been  possible  for 
God  to  continue  His  connection  with  the  people  of 
Israel,  if  it  had  not  been  that  He  retreated  into  Himself, 
into  His  own  sovereignty,  into  His  eternal  counsel, 
into  that  abounding  grace  to  the  chief  of  sinners  ? 
And  therefore  it  is  that  an  oath  is  connected  with 
the  covenant,  although  the  word  of  God  without  an 
oath  is  perfectly  sure  and  steadfast.  When  God 
says  "  As  I  live,  saith  the  Lord,"  He  thereby  signifies 
that  He  is  retreating,  as  it  were,  into  His  own  depths, 
and  that  what  He  is  going  to  promise  is  so  connected 
with  Himself,  with  His  character,  with  His  love, 
with  His  glory,  with  His  purpose,  that  He  Himself 
is  the  guarantee  that  it  must  come  to  pass.  Oh, 
what  a  firm  foundation  for  our  own  personal  salva- 
tion and  for  the  future  of  Israel — nay,  for  the  future 
of  the  whole  race. 

And  the  covenant  with  Abraham  embraces  three 
points,  and  you  cannot  take  any  one  of  them  away — 
first,  that  from  Abraham  was  to  come  an  exceedingly 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  305 

numerous  nation  ;  secondly,  that  that  nation  was  to 
possess  the  land  of  Canaan  ;  and  thirdly,  that  the 
seed  of  Abraham  was  to  be  the  centre  of  blessing  to 
all  the  families  of  the  earth.  When  we  look  at  these 
three  points,  if  it  were  not  for  the  middle  point  of 
the  promise  of  the  land,  it  might  be  possible  for 
people  to  say,  that  when  Christ  came,  and  when 
Christ  by  His  death  became  the  Saviour  of  sinners, 
the  promises  to  Abraham  were  fulfilled.  He  had 
become  a  numerous  nation  ;  the  Messiah  had  come  ; 
and  through  that  Messiah  blessings  had  gone  forth 
to  all  the  nations  of  the  earth.  Take  all  the  promises 
which  are  based  upon  this  covenant  that  God  made 
with  Abraham  in  a  literal  and  concrete  sense,  and 
never  for  a  moment  forget  the  land  of  Canaan,  in 
which  all  these  promises  were  to  be  fulfilled.  You 
can  find  no  promise  in  the  Old  Testament  with 
reference  to  Israel — their  conversion  and  the  out- 
pouring of  the  Holy  Spirit  upon  them, — except  in 
connection  with  their  national  restoration  to  the 
land  which  God  gave  to  their  fathers.  In  that 
very  chapter  in  Jeremiah,  when  God  says  that  He 
will  make  a  new  covenant  with  them,  and  give  to 
them  a  new  heart,  and  put  a  right  spirit  within 
them — in  that  very  chapter,  and  in  the  subsequent 
chapters,  are  described  to  us  distinctly  that,  in  that 
very  land  which  He  gave  to  their  fathers,  all  this 
would  take  place,  and  also  that  their  national  exist- 
ence would  endure,  as  long  as  the  sun  and  moon 
and  the  heavens  ; — and  so  you  find  in  all  the  pro- 
phets, that  these  things  remain  steadfast  and  sure  ; 
and  Jesus  Christ  Himself  confirmed  these  promises  ; 
— the  oath  which  God  sware  to  Abraham. 

And  when  God   made  a  covenant  and   revealed 
X 


3o6     THE  DOCTRINAL,   TYPICAL,  AND  PROPHETICAL 

Himself  to  Abraham,  there  was  as  yet  no  law.  God 
simply  said  to  Abraham,  "  I  am  the  Lord  ;  walk  thou 
before  me  and  be  perfect."  On  the  part  of  Abraham 
there  was  faith.  He  believed  God,  and  he  believed  the 
promises  of  God.  When  Isaac  was  not  yet  born, 
the  non-existence  of  Isaac  was  no  difficulty  to  his 
faith.  When  Isaac  was  born  and  grown  up,  the  death 
of  Isaac  was  no  obstacle  to  his  faith.  He  offered 
him  up  to  the  Lord,  knowing  that  God  was  able 
to  bring  him  back  again  from  the  dead.  And  we 
find  the  patriarchs  Isaac  and  Jacob  walking  in  the 
footsteps  of  the  Lord,  until  in  Jacob  we  see  that  the 
promise  receives  a  fuller  development.  Jacob  himself 
received  the  revelations  of  the  angel,  the  redeemer, 
that  led  him,  all  his  life  long.  To  Him  he  looked 
as  the  source  of  blessing  for  his  posterity  ;  and  the 
nation  that  God  has  chosen  does  not  take  its  name 
from  Abraham  or  Isaac,  but  from  Jacob.  And  why 
is  it  so  ?  Because  Jacob  was  called  "  Israel  "  just  as 
Jesus,  when  He  was  upon  earth,  changed  the  name 
of  Simon.  Only  the  Searcher  of  Hearts  has  the 
power  of  changing  the  name.  Jesus  called  Simon 
"  Cephas."  Jehovah  changed  the  name  of  Abram 
into  Abraham,  and  unto  Jacob  he  gave  the  name 
"  Israel,"  and  that  has  become  the  name  of  the  whole 
nation.  And  why  is  this  the  name  of  the  whole 
nation  ?  Because  it  is  the  divinely  given  character 
of  the  nation,  as  opposed  to  all  the  nations  of  the 
world.  Israel  gains  the  victory.  Israel  gains  the 
victory  only  from  God.  Israel  gains  the  victory 
from  God,  only  through  strong  crying  and  tears  and 
supplication  ;  and  Israel,  after  having  gained  the 
victory,  does  not  go  forth  with  the  firm  and  jubilant 
tread  of  a  hero,  but  halting,  even  as   the  apostle  Paul 


ASPECTS  OF  THE  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL  307 

went  forth  with  the  thorn  in  his  flesh,  glorying  even 
in  his  infirmities,  because  the  strength  of  God  was 
made  perfect  in  his  weakness. 

And  here  is  a  remarkable  thing — that  at  so  early 
a  stage  the  twelve  tribes  knew  themselves  to  be  one, 
and  had  one  common  name.  The  Athenian  historian, 
Thucydides,  states  as  a  very  extraordinary  thing,  that 
the  various  Greek  tribes  lived  for  so  many  centuries 
without  having  any  bond  of  unity  between  them,  and 
that  only  recently  had  there  been  found  out  a  name, 
by  which  the  whole  of  these  different  tribes  could 
be  designated, — the  name  of  Hellenes  ; — whereas  we 
see  from  the  song  of  Deborah,  the  early  date  of  which 
has  never  been  doubted  by  any  expositor,  that  all 
the  tribes  knew  themselves  to  be  Israel,  and  that 
their  union  was  in  Jehovah  from  whom  alone  came 
the  victory,  and  unto  whom  alone  belong  the  glory 
and  the  praise.  And  to  Jacob  there  was  revealed, 
when  he  blessed  his  twelve  sons,  that  from  among 
all  those  sons,  Judah  was  the  one  that  was  chosen, — 
that  out  of  the  tribe  of  Judah  there  was  to  come 
the  Deliverer. 

And  now  I  wish  to  make  one  remark.  The  apostle 
Paul  describes  the  character  of  the  whole  dispensation 
up  to  Moses,  in  one  sentence.  He  says  that  until 
Moses,  sin  was  in  the  world,  but  because  there  was 
no  law  sin  was  not  as  yet  imputed,  nevertheless  death 
reigned  from  Adam  upon  those  that  had  not  sinned 
after  the  similitude  of  Adam's  transgression.  And  we 
find  in  the  whole  book  of  Genesis  that  the  conscious- 
ness of  sin  was  dormant  in  the  people.  Abraham 
humbles  himself  before  God  ;  he  says  "  I  am  but  dust 
and  ashes."  Jacob  when  he  humbles  himself  before  God 
says,  "  I  am  unworthy  of  the  least  of  thy  mercies  "  ; — 


3o8     DOCTRINAL  ASPECTS  OF  HISTORY  OF  ISRAEL 

but  those  deep  confessions  of  sin  and  guilt,  which 
we  find  afterwards  among  the  saints  of  God,  we  do 
not  find  in  the  book  of  Genesis.  Why  ?  Because 
the  law  had  not  yet  been  given  to  make  sin  exceed- 
ing sinful.  Of '  course  they  had  the  consciousness 
of  sin  and  the  knowledge  of  the  difference  between 
good  and  evil,  but  the  consciousness  of  sin  was  not 
prominent.  And  therefore  the  types  in  Genesis  do 
not  refer  so  much  to  Christ  the  expiation  and  substi- 
tute, as  to  Christ  the  restorer  from  death  unto  life, 
and  from  suffering  unto  glory.  This  is  the  typology 
of  the  book  of  Genesis.  Abel  the  righteous  one 
has  to  suffer.  Enoch  the  godly  one  is  taken  up 
into  heaven.  Noah  and  his  household  are  restored 
from  death  unto  life,  and  make  a  new  commencement 
of  history.  Melchisedek  appears  to  Abraham  not 
as  a  sacrificing  priest,  but  as  the  type  of  Him  who  is 
the  priest  after  the  power  of  an  endless  life,  and  who 
is  able  to  give  blessing  to  the  children  of  God, — 
offering  to  them  bread  and  wine.  Isaac  is  not  so 
much  a  type  of  Christ  as  a  substitute,  as  of  the 
method  in  which  God  through  death  can  yet  fulfil 
the  promise,  and  restore  the  seed  to  whom  is  given 
that  promise.  Joseph,  lastly,  is  the  type  of  Christ, 
through  humiliation  and  prison  and  suffering,  exalted 
to  power  and  glory, — to  be  the  source  of  salvation 
and  blessing  to  His  own  household,  as  well  as  to 
Egypt. 


XV 

THE  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING  OF  THE  DECA- 
LOGUE AND  OF  THE  WHOLE  LAW 

The  great  lessons  conveyed  in  the  Pentateuch — The  paschal  lamb — 
The  departure  from  Egypt — Mount  Sinai — The  Shemites  gener- 
ally idolaters,  not  monotheists — De  Quincey  on  the  idea  of  God — 
The  philosopher's  abstract  God — The  covenant  of  Sinai,  what 
was  it  ? — Not  a  covenant  of  works — The  covenant  with  David 
(2  Samuel  vii.)  not  of  works — The  law,  usually  divided  into  moral, 
ceremonial,  and  political — An  element  of  truth  in  this  division,  but 
in  the  main  deceptive — Not  morality  that  is  taught  in  the  ten 
commandments,  but  our  relation  to  God — How  striking  is  the 
statement,  "  Unto  a  thousand  generations  of  them  that  love  me 
and  keep  my  commandments  " — Love  to  God  the  centre  of  the 
law — The  so-called  "ceremonial"  law  deeply  spiritual — The  ten 
commandments,  as  it  were,  the  face  of  the  law — ^Jehovah  repeated 
6000  times  in  Old  Testament,  and  Elohim  only  2500  times — God 
speaks  as  the  loving  God  with  the  very  tenderness  of  Christ, 
when  on  earth — The  love  of  God  felt  and  seen  with  all  intensity 
in  the  Psalms  and  the  Prophets — Propitiation  understood  clearly — 
Christ  the  fulfilment  and  clear  interpreter  of  the  law. 

Let  us  for  a  few  moments  look  back  again  on  the 
teaching  connected  with  the  history  recorded  in  the 
book  of  Genesis.  Genesis  is  the  Alpha  of  Scripture, 
and  because  Jesus  Christ  is  the  Alpha,  Genesis  is  full 
of  Christ.  The  higher  teaching  which  is  given  to  us 
in  the  apostolic  scriptures  brings  out  deeper  truths 
than  those  which  we  considered,  when  we  dwelt 
chiefly  upon  the  training  which  God  gave  to  the 
human  race,  and  to  His  chosen  ones,  Abraham,  Isaac, 


3IO  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

and  Jacob, — limiting  ourselves  to  what  they  were 
most  probably  able  to  understand  at  the  time.  But 
who  that  has  read  the  gospels  and  the  epistles  and 
the  book  of  Revelation  can  fail  to  see,  hidden  in 
the  book  of  Genesis,  still  more  wonderful  truths  and 
spiritual  and  heavenly  realities  ?  Before  that  "  In  the 
beginning"  of  the  ist  chapter  of  Genesis,  there  is  the 
eternal  beginning  which  is  revealed  to  us  in  the  ist 
chapter  of  the  gospel  of  John  ;  and  in  the  light  of 
that  chapter  of  John  and  many  declarations  of  the 
apostle  Paul — who  can  fail  to  see  in  the  ist  chapter 
of  Genesis  the  revelation  of  the  blessed  Trinity  ? 
Ten  times  it  is  written  "  And  God  said,"  for  by  the 
word  of  the  Lord  all  things  were  made, — and  the  Spirit 
of  God  was  moving  upon  the  face  of  the  waters. 
Who  can  fail  to  see,  in  the  light  of  the  teaching  given 
to  us  in  Corinthians  and  in  Romans,  that  the  first 
Adam  was  a  type  of  the  last  Adam,  and  that,  as  by 
the  disobedience  of  the  first  many  were  constituted 
sinners,  so  by  the  obedience  of  Christ,  the  everlasting 
Son,  many  are  constituted  righteous,  in  the  sight  of 
God.  The  formation  of  Eve  out  of  Adam,  we  are 
told  in  the  epistle  to  the  Ephesians,  is  a  type  of  the 
creation  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ,  out  of  Him 
who  was  crucified  and  who  rose  again  from  the  dead. 
The  meaning  of  God  resting  upon  the  seventh  day 
is  explained  to  us  in  the  epistle  to  the  Hebrews,  as 
showing  that  God  in  His  great  love  wishes  to  intro- 
duce us  by  faith  into  His  rest,  that  thus  we  may  find 
our  blessedness  in  Him.  The  victory  that  is  pro- 
nounced shall  be  achieved  over  the  serpent.  What 
else  is  it  but  that  victory  which  spiritually  was 
achieved  when  Jesus  Christ  died  upon  the  cross 
and  the  prince  of  this  world  was  cast  out,  and  which 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND   WHOLE  LAW         311 

shall  be  achieved  actually,  as  is  written  in  the 
20th  chapter  of  the  book  of  Revelation,  when 
Satan  shall  be  chained  for  a  thousand  years, — and 
finally  accomplished,  when  Satan  shall  be  bruised 
under  our  heel  ?  In  the  light  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment also  we  can  understand  how  Abel,  Noah,  and 
Enoch  unitedly  show  forth  that  Jesus  the  Good 
Shepherd,  the  Righteous  One,  must  die,  that  Jesus 
was  the  deliverer  of  the  household  of  faith  from 
the  floods  of  God's  judgment,  and  that  Jesus,  like 
Enoch,  ascended  up  on  high,  having  this  testimony — 
that  He  went  unto  the  Father,  because  of  righteous- 
ness. In  the  light  of  the  New  Testament  we  under- 
stand that  Babel  had  its  antitype  in  Pentecost,  when, 
by  the  gift  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  all  nations  were 
united  together  in  one  faith*  and  in  the  common 
understanding  of  the  mysteries  of  God,  and  that 
the  judgment  upon  Babel  is  typical  of  that  last 
judgment,  which  we  read  of  in  the  book  of  Revela- 
tion, when  Babylon  shall  fall.  A  different  and  a 
higher  light  falls  also  upon  the  life  and  upon  the 
manifestations  of  God  to  the  patriarchs,  Abraham, 
Isaac,  and  Jacob ;  and  in  the  final  history  with 
which  Genesis  concludes,  Joseph  is  truly  understood 
in  the  prophetic  light,  not  as  a  type  of  Christ's 
relation  to  sinners  in  general,  but  a  type  of  Christ's 
relation  to  Israel,  after  He  has  been  a  blessing  to 
the  Gentiles,  when  He  rouses  the  children  of  Jacob — 
who,  although  nominally  they  have  been  faithful  to 
the  God  of  their  fathers,  yet  in  reality  have  blood- 
guiltiness  upon  their  conscience, — when  He  reveals 
Himself  to  them  in  the  greatest  tenderness  and  love 
"  I  am  Joseph  your  brother." 

But    however   these    deep    mysteries    may    to   a 


DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 


certain  extent  have  been  known  unto  the  people 
of  that  age,  one  thing,  as  we  have  seen  already, 
we  must  clearly  understand.  They  did  know  that 
God  revealed  Himself  to  them  ;  God  showed  Himself 
as  a  God  of  mercy  ;  God  gave  to  them  the  promise 
of  a  deliverer  from  death  and  the  consequences  of 
sin, — and  their  attitude  was  simply  the  attitude  of 
faith,  which  is  the  only  attitude  in  which,  during  any 
dispensation,  men  are  able  to  please  God.  They 
were  believers.  It  was  by  faith  that  they  served 
God,  and  the  very  first  time  that  the  word  "  righteous- 
ness "  is  mentioned  in  Scripture  is  when  we  are  told 
that  Abraham  believed  God,  and  it  was  accounted  to 
him  for  righteousness  ;  and  the  very  first  time  that 
the  word  "  priest "  is  mentioned  in  Scripture  is  in 
connection  with  MelcWsedek,  who  had  in  himself 
the  right  of  priesthood,  and  who  is  a  type  of  that 
Priest,  who  is  now  seated  upon  the  throne  of  glory 
and  brings  blessings,  under  the  covenant,  unto  His 
people. 

Now  when,  in  the  book  of  Exodus,  the  history 
which  had  been  interrupted  for  400  years  begins 
again,  we  see  the  children  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob,  in  sore  captivity  and  bondage,  for  the  great 
truth  had  to  be  typified  that  the  people  whom  God 
has  elected  are  a  people,  who  are  in  great  misery 
and  who  must  be  redeemed.  In  Egypt,  Israel, 
according  to  the  providence  of  God,  was  brought 
into  contact  with  the  highest  civilised  nation  of  the 
world,  and  yet  at  the  same  time  was  kept  separate, 
on  account  of  the  antipathy  which  the  Egyptians  had 
to  shepherds  ;  and  although  the  idolatry  of  Egypt 
to  a  certain  extent  contaminated  Israel,  yet,  on 
the  whole,  Israel  kept  faithful   to  the  remembrance 


OF  TFIE  DECALOGUE  AND   WHOLE  LAW  313 

of  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob.  So  it 
was  by  faith,  that  the  parents  of  Moses  watched  over 
the  infant  that  was  entrusted  to  their  care.  In  God 
they  beHeved,  and  in  the  promises  which  were  made 
to  the  fathers  ;  and  they  had  not  forgotten,  that 
Joseph  by  faith  had  given  commandment  concerning 
his  bones,  that  these  were  not  ahvays  to  remain  in 
Egypt, — but  that  surely  God  would  bring  Israel  back 
into  the  land  which  He  had  given  them,  and  that 
then  they  were  to  bury  him  in  that  land,  that  was 
dear  to  the  heart  of  faith. 

As  they  had  this  faith  in  God  the  Creator,  in 
the  only  God  who  had  chosen  their  fathers,  and 
whose  covenant  was  an  unconditional  covenant,  so 
it  was  necessary  that  these  truths  should  be  still 
more  firmly  impressed  upon  their  mind,  before  the 
great  dealings  of  God  with  Israel  commenced,  and 
they  beheld  God  in  His  supremacy,  in  the  miracles 
to  be  wrought  upon  the  Egyptians, — which  proved 
to  them  that  God  was  above  all  the  powers  of 
nature.  And  the  connection  between  sin  and  death 
was  made  manifest  to  them, — how  God  redeemed 
them  out  of  Egypt  simply  on  account  of  His 
sovereign  mercy,  and  not  owing  to  any  superior 
merit  which  they  possessed, — by  that  wonderful 
type  of  the  paschal  lamb  and  of  the  blood  which 
was  sprinkled  against  the  door-post, — showing  that 
they  also  were  under  sin  and  under  the  curse  and 
under  the  condemnation  of  death  ;  but  that  God  in 
His  great  mercy  had  provided  a  substitute,  by  the 
shedding  of  whose  blood  it  was  possible  for  Him 
to  carry  out  His  counsels,  with  mercy  and  com- 
passion. 

And  that  night  in   Egypt — when,  by  faith,  they 


314  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

slew  the  paschal  lamb,  and  sprinkled  the  blood 
and  ate  of  the  lamb,  having  their  loins  girded,  in 
repentance,  in  humility,  in  trustfulness  towards  God, 
in  thankfulness,  in  entire  dependence  upon  His 
power  and  His  grace — was  memorable  throughout 
the  whole  history  of  Israel.  It  was  the  beginning 
of  their  history.  Afterwards  in  the  book  of  Kings, 
when  Solomon  built  the  temple,  we  are  told  that 
it  was  so  many  hundred  years,  after  God  brought 
Israel  out  of  Egypt.  This  was  the  beginning  of  their 
chronology.  It  was  the  first  month  of  the  year  to 
them — the  beginning  of  every  year.  The  whole 
national  existence  is  rooted  in  that  exodus  from 
Egypt — a  marvellous  fact  which  will  find  its  full 
illustration  when,  according  to  the  gospel  of  John, 
Israel  in  the  latter  days  shall  look  upon  Him  whom 
they  have  pierced,  upon  that  Paschal  Lamb  of  which 
not  a  bone  was  to  be  broken, — Alpha  of  Israel's 
history,  Omega  of  Israel's  history.  All  the  prophets 
allude  to  this — that  God  brought  them  out  of  Egypt. 
And  you  remember  who  it  was  that  said,  "With  de- 
sire have  I  desired  to  eat  this  passover  with  you  "  ? 
Not  until  the  greater  event  shall  happen,  the  still 
more  wonderful  manifestation  of  the  power  and  grace 
of  Jehovah,  when  He  shall  make  Israel  again  His 
manifest  and  glorified  people,  shall  that  night  be 
forgotten,  or  the  remembrance  of  that  great  exodus 
be  eclipsed.  And  not  merely  the  exodus,  but  also 
the  deliverance  out  of  the  Red  Sea  was  entirely  by 
the  power  of  God,  for  this  also  was  to  be  made 
secure  unto  Israel.  Not  merely  did  God  alone 
redeem  them  out  of  Egypt,  but  it  was  God  only 
who  was  their  sanctification,  and  who  separated  them 
from  Egypt  and  from  the  power  of  Egypt.      Oh,  how 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW         315 

clearly  did  they  understand  this,  as  we  can  see  from 
the  song  of  Moses  and  of  the  people  of  Israel.  God 
only  is  holy  :  God  only  has  redeemed  His  people. 
He  has  redeemed  them  to  bring  them  near  to 
Himself,  into  His  sanctuary,  where  they  may  be 
in  communion  with  Him,  and  where  He  shall  reign 
for  ever  and  for  ever. 

But  the  reason  why  He  brought  them  out  of 
Egypt,  as  was  said  to  Pharaoh,  was  this,  that  upon 
Mount  Sinai  He  might  betroth  them  to  Himself,  as 
His  own  people.  Mount  Sinai  is  generally  viewed, 
and  correctly  viewed,  as  the  mountain  where  God 
manifested  His  severe  justice  and  His  awful  majesty. 
Even  Moses  himself  was  filled  with  fear  and  trem- 
bling. But  there  is  another  aspect  of  Mount  Sinai, 
which  we  also  read  of  in  the  prophets.  It  was,  as 
it  were,  the  place  where  God,  who  had  brought  His 
bride  out  of  Egypt,  betrothed  Himself  unto  her — "  I 
remember  the  time  of  thy  first  love,  the  day  of 
thine  espousals,  when  thou  wentest  after  me  in  the 
wilderness." 

Israel  is  God's  son.  Unto  Israel  pertaineth  the 
adoption.  Here  we  are  not  in  the  territory  of 
creation  and  nature.  Whatever  is  said  about  God 
being  a  universal  Father,  and  there  are  some  ele- 
ments of  truth  in  that  representation,  it  does  not  come 
into  contact  with  this.  Not  because  God  created 
Israel,  and  has  created  all  human  beings,  is  He 
their  Father,  else  the  term  "  adoption  "  would  have 
no  meaning.  "  Out  of  Egypt  have  I  called  my  Son." 
He  has  adopted  them  to  be  His — "  His  own." 

Now  before  I  begin  to  speak  about  what  God 
said  and  did  upon  Mount  Sinai,  let  me  remind  you 
of  that   wonderful  phenomenon  which   has   become 


3i6  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

more  and  more  observed  by  all  historians  and  by  all 
those  who  investigate  the  religions  of  different  nations 
— that  there  is  no  trace  of  monotheism  to  be  found, 
until  we  come  to  Abraham,  and  therefore  only  by 
something  wonderful  and  supernatural  can  we  account 
for  the  fact  that  there  was  a  race  who  worshipped 
one  God  and  who  knew  that  God  by  name, — for  all 
the  Shemitic  tribes,  without  any  exception  except  the 
Jews,  were  idolaters.  They  were  not  merely  idolaters, 
but  the  number  of  their  gods  and  goddesses  and 
heroes  was  exceedingly  large,  and  their  idolatry  was 
connected  with  great  abominations  and  degrading 
sins.  In  Israel,  although  there  was  often  a  falling 
away  into  idolatry,  or  an  attempt  to  combine  the 
worship  of  Jehovah  with  idolatrous  usages  and  places, 
all  idolatry  is  always  regarded,  as  a  going  after  strange 
gods  and  after  new  gods.  There  is  not  the  slightest 
trace  in  Scripture  or  anywhere  else  that  Israel  at 
one  period  of  its  existence  was  idolatrous,  or  semi- 
idolatrous,  and  then  gradually  rose  to  the  knowledge 
of  there  being  one  God.  Idolatry  is  always  spoken 
of  as  adultery  which  Israel  had  committed,  for  God 
was  from  the  beginning  the  very  God  who  had  re- 
vealed Himself  unto  them,  and  it  was  only  from  other 
nations  that  they  adopted  the  idea  of  there  being 
gods,  and  of  those  idolatrous  services  which  were 
connected  with  their  ideas  of  gods.  There  is  the 
significant  fact  that  there  is  no  word  in  the  Hebrew 
language  for  goddess.  Such  an  idea  never  entered 
into  their  minds.  That  entire  degradation  of  the  idea 
of  God — whatever  remnant  there  may  have  been  left 
in  the  minds  of  men  from  the  primaeval  revelation — 
that  thorough  degradation  of  the  idea  of  God,  accord- 
ing to  which  men  knew  really  of  no  God,  but  only  a 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND   WHOLE  LAW         317 

personification  of  the  powers  of  life,  had  never  any 
place  among  the  descendants  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob.  This  point  is  so  important  that  I  would  like 
to  read  to  you  two  statements  in  regard  to  it  of  two 
English  writers  ;  the  first  from  De  Ouincey.  "There 
is  one  sole  idea  of  God.  Of  this  idea  two  things 
may  be  affirmed  :  the  first  thing,  that  it  is  at  the  root 
of  all  absolute  grandeur,  of  all  truth,  and  of  all  moral 
perfection  ;  the  second  is,  that,  natural  and  easy 
as  it  seems  when  once  unfolded,  it  could  only  have 
been  unfolded  by  Revelation  ;  and  to  all  eternity,  he 
that  started  with  the  false  conception  of  God,  could 
not  through  any  effort  of  his  own  have  exchanged  it 
for  a  true  one.  All  idolatries  alike,  though  not  all  in 
equal  degrees,  by  intercepting  the  idea  of  God  through 
the  prism  of  some  representative  creature  that  partially 
resembles  God,  refract,  splinter,  and  distort  that  idea, 
so  that  idolatry  is  not  merely  one  of  many  evils,  and 
one  utterly  beyond  the  power  of  social  institutions 
to  redress,  but  in  fact  it  is  the  fountain  of  all  other 
evil,  that  seriously  menaces  the  destiny  of  the  human 
race."  The  great  importance  of  this  is  evident. 
Men  who  do  not  wish  to  believe  all  that  is  written 
in  the  Bible  select  a  few  things  from  the  Bible  which 
they  like,  and  then  give  themselves  the  appearance 
as  if  they  had  found  out  these  great  truths  by  their 
own  reason,  or  from  the  intuitions  of  their  own  mind  ; 
whereas  they  would  never  have  known  that  there  is 
a  God  who  has  created  the  heavens  and  the  earth, 
except  through  the  revelation  which  God  gave  to 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob.  And  not  merely  would 
they  not  have  known  that  there  is  one  Godhead, — • 
important  as  this  is,  it  is  not  of  the  chief  importance; 
— some  philosophers  have  supposed  that  there  could 


3i8  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

be  only  one  supreme  cause  of  all  things  ;  but  that 
is  not  God.  To  believe  in  a  Godhead  and  in  a 
supreme  being,  is  not  to  believe  in  God.  I  may 
see  the  beautiful  pictures  and  sculptures  which 
some  great  artist  has  produced,  but  I  do  not  know 
him.  The  little  child  that  plays  with  him  knows 
him  as  his  father — knows  his  person,  knows  his 
countenance,  knows  his  love.  Of  what  use  is  that 
abstraction  of  Deity  which  the  philosophers  possess  ? 
Canon  Mozley  says :  "  The  vulgar  among  the  heathen 
believed  in  many  gods  ;  the  philosopher  believed 
in  a  universal  cause  ;  but  neither  believed  in  God. 
It  is  perfectly  evident — I  cannot  understand  how 
people  can  read  the  Bible  and  not  see  it,  but  they 
do  not.  The  vulgar  believed  in  many  gods ;  the 
philosopher  believed  in  a  universal  cause  ;  but  neither 
believed  in  God.  The  philosopher  only  regarded  the 
universal  cause,  as  the  spring  of  the  universal  machine, 
which  was  necessary  to  the  working  of  all  parts,  but 
was  not  thereby  raised  to  a  separate  order  of  being 
from  them.  Theism  was  discussed  as  a  philosophical, 
not  as  a  religious  question.  Nothing  could  have 
astonished  him  more  than,  when  he  had  proved  in 
the  lecture-hall  the  existence  of  a  God,  to  have  been 
told  to  worship  Him.  '  Worship  Him,'  he  would 
have  answered  ;  '  worship  what  ? '  Would  you  picture 
him  indignant  at  the  polytheistic  superstition  of  the 
crowd,  and  manifesting  some  spark  of  the  fire  of 
St.  Paul,  when  he  saw  the  city  wholly  given  to  idolatry? 
You  could  not  have  been  more  mistaken.  He  would 
have  said  that  you  did  not  see  a  plain  distinction. 
The  crowd  was  right  on  the  religious  question  ;  the 
philosopher  right  on  the  philosophical.  However 
men  may  uphold  in  argument  an  infinite  abstraction. 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LA  IF         319 

they  could  not  worship  it.  The  hearer  was  much 
better  fitted  for  worship  than  a  universal  cause — 
fitted  for  it  not  in  spite  of,  but  in  consequence  of  his 
want  of  true  divinity.  The  supreme  being  among  the 
Brahmins  was  a  characterless  impersonal  essence,  a 
mere  residuum  of  intellectual  analysis.  No  temple  was 
raised  to  him,  no  knee  was  bended  to  him  ;  without 
action,  without  will,  without  affection,  without  thought, 
he  was  a  substratum  of  everything  himself — a  nothing. 
Thus  the  idea  of  God  was  far  from  calling  forth  in 
the  ancient  world  the  idea  of  worship.  It  ever  stood 
in  antagonism  with  it.  One  simple  nation  alone 
of  antiquity  worshipped  God,  believed  the  universal 
being  to  be  a  personal  being — God."  And  while 
Israel  knew  God  and  knew  His  name,  they  were 
opposed  to  all  idolatry,  and  as  we  have  seen  before, 
Nebuchadnezzar  and  Darius  and  Cyrus,  and  many 
of  the  Gentile  nations,  were  taught  by  them  the  idea 
of  God  ;  and  since  Israel  has  forsaken  God,  and  His 
own  proper  name  of  God,  with  which  to  go  out  into 
the  world,  but  only  prides  itself  in  the  idea  of  the 
unity  of  God,  which  sinks  back  again  into  the  philo- 
sophical idea  of  an  abstraction,  they  have  done 
nothing  to  disturb  the  idolater  and  to  convert  the 
heathen  nations.  But  we  Christians  who  believe  in 
Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  and  who  have  the 
name  of  Jesus  standing  out  as  a  personal  name,  even 
as  Israel  of  old  had  the  name  of  Jehovah — we  have 
gone  forth,  and  many  have  turned  from  idols  to  serve 
the  true  and  living  God,  and  to  wait  for  the  coming 
of  the  Lord  Jesus  from  heaven. 

Now  this  God  brought  Israel  out  of  Egypt  and 
there  they  were  before  Him,  at  Mount  Sinai ;  and 
this   God  was  holy,  and  yet   He  was  their  covenant 


320  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

God.  What  is  holiness  ?  Holiness  can  only  be  under- 
stood by  what  Scripture  teaches  us  of  it.  All  other 
ideas  must  give  way,  and  we  must  be  perfectly  silent 
to  hear  the  voice  of  God.  Holiness  has  generally 
been  explained  as  the  love  of  that  which  is  good, 
and  the  hatred  of  that  which  is  evil.  But  that  is 
not  holiness  ;  it  is  a  consequence  of  holiness ;  it  is  a 
manifestation  of  holiness  ;  but  holiness  does  not  con- 
sist in  this.  The  holiness  of  God,  as  it  is  revealed 
to  us  in  Scripture,  seems  to  me  to  be  this.  It  is  not 
one  of  many  attributes,  but  it  is  that,  out  of  which  all 
the  attributes  of  God  flow,  and  in  which  they  all  are 
connected.  God  is  holy  ;  He  only  is  holy  ;  and  the 
holiness  of  God  is,  so  to  speak,  the  infinite  self- 
containedness  of  God,  that  He  is  Himself  and  nothing 
else,  that  in  Himself  there  is  all  that  is  infinitely 
pleasing  to  Him,  that  He  is  sovereign,  majestic  ;  and 
as  this  holiness  of  God  consists  in  there  being  nothing 
and  none,  with  whom  God  can  be  compared,  and  unto 
whom  we  can  liken  Him,  the  brightness  of  God,  the 
majesty  and  transcendence  of  God  above  all  things 
and  above  all  persons,  so  this  holiness  has  two 
aspects.  In  one  aspect  it  removes  God  to  an  infinite 
distance  from  all  that  is  creaturely,  and  therefore 
it  is  that  which  appears  to  be  what  prevents  us 
from  drawing  near  to  Him, — for,  according  to  that 
holiness  of  God,  God  is  of  purer  eyes  than  to  behold 
iniquity  ;  and  as  He  is  God  of  life,  death, — and  every- 
thing that  leads  to  death  is  impure  in  His  sight,  and 
cannot  appear  before  Him,  so  that  the  guilty,  and 
those  that  are  under  the  sentence  of  death  from  their 
birth  onwards,  are  separated  from  God.  But  just  as 
the  life  of  God,  in  one  aspect,  is  a  consuming  fire 
against  everything  that  is  opposed  to  God,  in  another 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW        321 

aspect,  like  the  light,  although  it  cannot  bear  that 
anything  should  touch  it  that  is  not  light, — it  is  es- 
sentially communicated.  Thus  it  is  the  holiness  of 
God  which  comes  into  the  hearts  of  people  to  bring 
them  into  closest  communion  with  Himself 

Therefore  we  find  this  double  aspect  of  holiness — 
Holy,  holy,  holy.  Lord  God  of  Hosts,  not  to  abide 
alone  :  "  Heaven  and  earth  are  full  of  thy  glory." 
Glory  is  holiness  manifested  ;  holiness  is  glory  con- 
cealed. Isaiah  trembles  because  he  is  a  man  of 
unclean  lips,  and  dwelling  among  a  people  of  unclean 
lips.  It  is  the  Holy  One  who  sends  him  forth.  He 
is  the  Holy  One  of  Israel,  not  to  condemn  Israel  : 
"  The  Holy  One  of  Israel,  and  thy  Redeemer,"  there- 
fore the  holiness  of  God  has  this  double  aspect — God 
is  God.  Sin  and  death  cannot  appear  before  God. 
But  just  because  God  is  God,  therefore  He  is  able  to 
sanctify  a  people  unto  Himself;  and  how  does  God 
make  anything  holy  ?  Simply  by  His  bringing  it 
near  to  Himself.  It  is  not  by  any  inherent  quality 
that  He  infuses  into  a  person  or  into  a  place.  Wher- 
ever God  chooses  to  manifest  Himself  that  ground  is 
holy  ;  and  whatever  sinners  God  chooses  to  bring 
near  to  Himself,  from  that  moment  they  are  holy.  So 
was  the  thief  on  the  cross  holy,  the  moment  he  said 
"  Remember  me  when  thou  comest  into  thy  kingdom." 
By  bringing  them  unto  Himself,  God  constitutes  them 
holy.  But  Israel  was  a  sinful  nation,  as  we  all  are 
sinful,  but  God  said  "  They  are  my  nation,  a  kingdom 
of  priests  unto  me,  a  holy  nation.  I  have  separated 
them  unto  myself." 

But  what  is  now  that  covenant  that  God  initiated 
upon  Mount  Sinai  ?  Is  it  a  covenant  of  works  ?  Is 
it  a  law,  in  its  aspect  of  condemnation  and  of  curse  ? 

Y 


DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 


In  one  respect  it  is.  That  was  only  a  very  limited, 
secondary  and,  if  I  may  so  speak,  negative  attribute 
of  the  dispensation,  which  commenced  upon  Mount 
Sinai.  Only  think  of  it.  The  unconditional  cove- 
nant which  was  made  with  Noah,  and  of  which  the 
rainbow  is  the  sign  ;  the  unconditional  covenant 
which  was  made  with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob, 
and  of  which  circumcision  is  the  seal,  could  never  be 
frustrated  by  anything  which  should  happen  subse- 
quently, as  the  giving  of  the  law  on  Mount  Sinai 
400  years  after,  and  the  dispensation  which  fol- 
lowed from  it.  God  by  an  oath  had  sworn  unto 
Abraham,  that  He  would  be  his  God  and  the  God  of 
his  descendants,  and  that  He  would  give  them  the 
land,  and  that  He  would  give  them  the  Messiah.  This 
oath  could  not  have  been  frustrated,  could  not  have 
been  modified,  could  not  have  been  put  aside,  by  that 
which  God  is  now  going  to  reveal  to  them.  This 
is  the  first  reason. 

Second  reason.  If  it  was  a  covenant  of  works, — 
on  condition  of  Israel's  disobedience  God  would  reject 
them,  and  on  that  of  Israel's  obedience  God  would 
befriend  them ;  then,  when  Israel  made  a  golden  calf 
and  worshipped  it,  the  history  of  Israel  ought  to  have 
ceased.  The  covenant  was  broken.  God  had  no 
longer  anything  to  do  with  them.  But  so  far  from 
this  being  the  case,  God  returns  again  to  this  promise, 
"  I  am  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob."  The 
history  of  redemption  commenced.  The  covenant 
with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob  is  dear  to  the  heart 
of  God,  and  the  only  hope  of  His  people, — it  flows 
on,  a  river  of  mercy,  with  as  great  vitality  and  fulness 
as  it  ever  possessed  before. 

The    third   reason.       A   covenant   of   works,  with 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND   WHOLE  LA  W         323 

death,  curse,  condemnation  ?  Yes,  it  is  perfectly  true, 
but  why  is  it  that  God  again  reveals  all  His  name  ? 
"  The  Lord  God,  gracious,  merciful,  slow  to  anger, 
plenteous  in  redemption."  Why  is  it  that  in  that  law 
God  gives  them  priests — gives  them  a  tabernacle  and 
gives  them  sacrifice  ?  God  says,  I  will  forgive  your 
sins  and  I  will  make  you  draw  near  to  me.  How  is 
it  that  none  of  the  prophets  ever  for  a  single  moment 
thought  that  the  covenant  with  Abraham  had  been 
set  aside,  or  that  they  were  living  under  the  curse, 
or  that  they  did  not  know  the  grace  of  God, — 
God  forgiving  and  God  sanctifying  them  ?  It  was 
necessary  that  it  should  be  made  plain  to  Israel  that 
the  law  had  this  aspect :  "  You  are  all  guilty  in  the 
sight  of  God,  and  if  I  were  to  deal  with  you  accord- 
ing to  that  which  is  required  by  the  corresponding 
part  on  your  side  to  the  law,  I  should  have  nothing 
more  to  do  with  you.  You  depend  entirely  upon 
sovereign  mercy,  upon  grace."  The  law  itself  thus 
mocks,  so  to  speak,  at  its  own  utter  insufficiency,  and 
points  us  to  that  covenant  of  grace  which  is  rooted 
in  the  eternal  love  of  God.  It  was  with  the  Jews, 
as  it  is  with  you.  Every  man  that  is  not  converted 
is  under  the  law,  and  under  the  curse  of  the  law, 
although  this  is  a  gospel  dispensation.  Else  why 
do  you  need  to  say  "  God  be  merciful  to  me  a  sinner," 
and  "  What  shall  I  do  to  be  saved  "  ;  and  what  under- 
standing have  you  of  the  new  covenant  unless  you 
know  that  you  are  transgressors,  and  transgressors  of 
what  ?  Transgressors  of  the  law  of  God.  There 
were  the  wicked  and  the  worldly,  and  the  law  was  a 
testimony  to  them  and  bridled  them,  and  was  a  hedge 
round  them  lest  they  should  go  on  to  worse,  and  it 
warned  them  that  they  might  be  led  if,  possible,  to 


324  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

repentance.  There  were  the  people  whom  our  blessed 
Saviour  describes,  "  Blessed  are  the  poor  in  spirit, 
blessed  are  they  that  mourn,  blessed  are  the  meek, 
blessed  are  they  that  hunger  and  thirst  after  righteous- 
ness." There  were  Zachariah  and  Elizabeth.  They 
were  righteous  before  God,  walking  in  all  the  ordin- 
ances and  commandments  of  the  Lord — blameless. 
Do  you  think  that  Zachariah  and  Elizabeth  thought 
that  they  were  justified  by  the  works  of  the  law  ? 
They  were  righteous  before  the  Lord  in  the  way  in 
which  any  sinner  can  be  righteous — in  the  way  in 
which  Abraham  was  righteous  before  the  Lord,  and 
in  the  way  in  which  all  Christians  are  righteous  before 
the  Lord,  because  they  believed  the  Word  which  He 
had  given  to  them  ;  and  therefore  because  they  waited 
for  the  redemption,  they  walked  in  the  ordinances 
and  commandments  of  the  Lord.  And  then  there 
were  the  Pharisees  and  the  self-righteous,  as  Saul 
of  Tarsus,  who  did  not  understand  the  spirituality  of 
the  law — who  went  about  to  establish  a  righteousness 
of  their  own,  by  the  works  of  the  law — who  did  not 
see  that  the  law  was  spiritual,  and  that  neither 
righteousness  nor  life  could  come  by  the  law.  The 
aspect  of  Jesus  on  his  appearing  to  Saul  crushed 
him — revealed  to  him  the  whole  splendour  of  the 
law,  and  the  insufficiency  of  the  law,  and  he  cried 
out  for  a  Redeemer. 

To  make  this  still  plainer,  it  is  the  covenant  of 
works,  it  is  the  dispensation  of  law,  but  only  on 
the  outside,  and  only  as  to  the  shell, — not  as  to 
the  kernel,  God  says  to  Jerusalem  : — I  will  make  a 
covenant  with  you,  not  as  the  first  covenant  was 
when  I  gave  you  my  law,  and  you  transgressed  it, 
when   I  was  a  husband   unto   Israel.       God  always 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW         325 

was  a  husband  unto  Israel  during  the  whole  period. 
"  Where  is  the  bill  of  your  mother's  divorcement  ?  " 
Israel  went  away  from  God,  but  God  never  said 
"  I  give  thee  up."  He  was  always  the  covenant 
God  of  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  or  as  we  say 
"  The  God  and  Father  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ, 
according  as  he  has  chosen  us  in  him  before  the 
foundation  of  the  world." 

So  the  covenant  with  David.  Take  the  covenant 
that  God  made  with  David,  2nd  book  of  Samuel, 
7th  chapter.  God  made  a  covenant  with  David — 
"  The  sure  mercies  of  David," — a  covenant  which 
was  ordered,  in  all  things  perfect,  the  covenant 
upon  which  salvation  depends, — and  that  also  was 
conditional.  He  said,  "  If  thy  sons  walk  in  my 
ways  I  will  bless  them  and  be  with  them.  If  they 
transgress  I  will  chastise  them.  According  to  the 
work  side  of  the  covenant,  the  conditional  side  of  the 
covenant  " — where  is  the  house  of  David  ?  Were 
not  the  last  occupants  of  the  throne  of  David  led 
into  the  captivity  ?  And  for  more  than  400  years 
before  Jesus  came,  was  there  any  one  sitting  upon  the 
throne  of  his  father  David  }  Then  did  it  come  to 
nought  ?  Yes,  it  came  to  nought,  as  everything  was 
a  dead  failure,  and  must  be  a  dead  failure,  under  any 
conditional  covenant  and  under  the  law.  But  the 
covenant  with  David  could  not  come  to  nought,  for 
Jesus  is  the  son  of  David,  and  the  title-deeds  of 
Palestine  are  now  at  the  right  hand  of  the  majesty 
of  God.  In  Jesus  the  covenant  is  fulfilled,  and  thus 
it  is  that  the  glory  of  God  in  Jesus  shines  through 
the  whole  of  that  law,  which  God  gave  to  Israel. 

Let  us  look  now  at  the  law,  the  law  which  God 
gave  to   His  people — a  theocracy  in  which  God  is 


326  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

the  king,  Israel  is  the  nation,  Palestine  is  the  land. 
There  must  be  a  law.  Oh  what  a  blessed 'thing  it  is 
that  there  is  a  divine  law.  Not  the  opinion  of  the 
majority.  Majority  ? — if  wisdom  characterised  human 
beings,  or  goodness  characterised  human  beings,  then 
we  might  have  some  faith  in  what  the  majority  says. 
God  gives  the  law,  His  eternal  law,  a  blessed  law,  a 
perfect  law.  The  whole  authority  of  the  law  eman- 
ates from  Himself,  and  it  is  to  teach  all  the  nations 
of  the  world, — to  show  to  them — what  God's  idea 
of  a  nation  is,  and  what  government  is.  All  experi- 
ments that  are  made  in  politics  and  in  social  science 
— containing  as  they  do  exceedingly  great  and  ex- 
ceedingly tender  problems — will  fail  ;  and  at  last 
it  will  be  seen  that  the  true  principles  of  national 
existence  are  contained  in  the  five  books  of  Moses. 

This  law  is  usually  divided  into  moral,  ceremonial, 
and  political  ;  but  this  division,  although  there  is  an 
clement  of  truth  in  it,  does  a  good  deal  of  mischief  in 
diverting  the  attention  of  people  from  what  is  really 
the  character  of  the  law.  As  James  says  in  his  epistle, 
'*  The  law  is  one  :  you  cannot  divide  it  "  ;  and  for 
the  simple  reason  that  there  is  one  law-giver — that  is 
God  ;  and  therefore  whether  God  says  "  Thou  shalt 
love  thy  neighbour,"  or  whether  He  says  that  you  are 
not  to  do  this  thing  and  not  to  do  the  other  thing,  it 
is  the  same  God  that  gives  the  law.  The  same  life 
animates  the  whole.  It  is  an  organism,  and  as  for 
calling  one  part  of  the  law  moral  law,  the  expression 
moral  is  entirely  inadequate,  for  it  is  not  morality 
that  is  taught  in  the  ten  commandments ; — it  is  our 
relation  to  God.  It  is  not  that  we  are  to  love  the 
true,  the  good,  and  the  beautiful — a  neuter  thing — but 
we  are  to  love  God.      We  should  not  find  this  out 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW         327 

by  our  unassisted  reason  and  conscience.  But  here  it 
is  the  first  table  of  the  law — what  God  is,  what  God  is 
to  us,  and  how  we  are  to  stand  in  Him  and  in  our 
love  to  Him.  Therefore  to  call  it  moral  law  is  to  lead 
away  from  that  which  is  the  very  glory  of  the  law. 
Oh  how  majestic  it  is  to  read  the  beginning  of  these 
ten  commandments  and  the  expression  of  the  pro- 
mises "  Unto  thousands  of  generations  of  them  that 
love  me  and  keep  my  commandments."  You  re- 
member the  gentle  voice  in  that  little  upper  chamber 
in  Jerusalem  that  said  "  If  ye  love  me  keep  my  com- 
mandments,"— that  is  the  voice  of  Jehovah.  No  other 
being — angel  or  man — no  other  could  say,  "  The  root 
of  all  that  is  pleasing  to  God  is  that  you  have 
affection  for  me  personally "  ;  and  no  other  has  a 
right  to  give  commandments  but  God. 

Then,  again,  as  to  the  ceremonial  law.  People 
imagine  by  "  ceremonial "  something  to  strike  the 
senses,  something  to  add  pomp  and  beauty  to 
services,  something  in  which  there  is  no  reality. 
There  were  no  ceremonies  in  Israel.  It  was  all 
the  preaching  of  eternal  truths  and  of  spiritual 
substances,  and  real  transactions  between  God  and 
the  people.  This  ceremonial  law,  as  it  is  called, 
contains  the  most  sublime  and  touching  aspect  of 
the  will  of  God :  "  Whether  ye  eat  or  drink  or 
whatsoever  ye  do,  do  all  to  the  glory  of  God." 
God  wishes  to  have  communion  with  people  in  their 
daily  business,  in  their  seed-time,  and  in  their 
harvest,  in  all  the  relationships  of  their  earthly  life. 

And  as  for  the  national  law,  it  is  only  the  expres- 
sion, and  the  application  to  the  nation  of  Israel,  of 
the  ideas  and  truths  and  relationships,  expressed  in 
the  spiritual  law  and  in  the  preparatory  evangelical 


328  DEEP  sr J  RITUAL  MEANING 

law,  which  God  had  given  to  His  people.  But 
all  this  does  not  preclude  me  from  acknowledging 
that  the  ten  commandments,  spoken  by  God  Him- 
self and  written  by  God  Himself,  stand  as  it  were 
on  a  majestic  height.  They  are,  so  to  speak,  the 
face  of  the  law  ;  and  as  you  see  the  intelligence  and 
the  affection  of  a  man  in  his  countenance,  so  the 
whole  law  of  God  shows  its  face  to  us,  in  those  ten 
words  which  the  Lord  spoke.  Now  see  the  covenant 
of  works — or,  rather,  do  not  see  the  covenant  of  works, 
for  you  will  not  be  able  to  see  it.  "  I  am  the  Lord  " 
— that  is  the  holiness  of  God,  Jehovah.  Six  thousand 
times  the  name  of  Jehovah  is  mentioned  in  the  Old 
Testament,  and  the  name  Elohim,  which  describes  God 
the  Creator,  only  2500  times.  'T  am  Jehovah" — that 
is  the  holiness  of  God.  "  I  am  the  Lord  thy  God  " — 
that  is  the  covenant  with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob  : 
and  you  are  His  children.  And  as  God  gives  Himself 
to  the  people  as  their  God,  He  thereby  sanctifies 
the  people  and  draws  them  up  to  Himself  And 
lest  any  one  should  imagine  that  this  is  based  simply 
upon  the  relation  of  God  as  a  creator  to  His  creatures, 
or  the  universal  fatherhood  of  God,  He  says,  "  I  am 
Jehovah,  thy  God,"  according  to  the  election  of 
Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob,  "  which  brought  thee 
out  of  the  land  of  Egypt."  The  blood  of  the 
covenant — that  is  the  foundation  upon  which  the 
whole  ten  commandments  rest.  That  is  the  most 
precious  part  of  the  ten  commandments.  Let 
nobody  speak  of  the  ten  commandments,  unless 
he  understands  this  verse.  To  take  away  this  verse 
is  to  take  away  the  glory,  the  diadem,  the  head, 
the  heart  of  the  ten  commandments.  And  this  verse 
is    the   gospel    and    nothing   but   the    gospel.      And 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LA  W         329 

because  this  is  God,  holy  covenant  God,  redeemer 
God,  they  were  to  have  no  other  god — thou  shalt 
have  no  other  gods  beside  me  ;  and  not  merely 
have  no  other  gods  beside  me,  but  this  very  idea 
of  God  which  has  been  revealed  to  us  is  not  to 
be  formulated  or  illustrated  or  shaped  according  to 
the  imagination  of  our  hearts,  or,  as  De  Ouincey 
says,  brought  down  to  a  lower  level  ;  and  this  law 
which  forbids  us  to  make  any  image  of  God  is  the 
"divine  right"  of  Puritanism,  that  man  has  no 
right  to  invent  ceremonies  or  methods  of  his  own 
whereby  to  worship  God.  God  stands  by  Himself 
and  must  be  worshipped  in  spirit  and  in  truth  ; 
and  since  God  in  His  wonderful  love  has  made 
Himself  known  to  us, — like  the  artist  and  sculptor 
of  whom  I  spoke  who  is  known  to  his  little  child, 
who  may  not  even  have  seen  any  of  his  pictures 
or  any  of  his  statues, — so  that  we  know  the  name 
of  God,  as  we  know  now  the  blessed  name  of  Jesus, — 
you  must  keep  this  name  of  God  separate  from 
all  your  ideas  and  the  desires  of  your  hearts,  and 
the  manners  and  customs  of  the  world,  and  walk 
in  the  name  of  the  Lord  only.  And  being  thus 
with  God,  God  in  His  great  mercy  says,  "  Come 
unto  me  all  ye  weary  and  heavy-laden  ones,  and 
I  will  give  you  rest";  I  will  make  you  partakers  of 
my  rest,  and  I  will  give  you  as  a  sign  of  that,  the 
Sabbath  day,  and  you  shall  rest  in  me,  and  know 
that,  notwithstanding  all  the  toils  and  troubles  and 
afflictions  of  this  earthly  life,  you  are  not  a  beast  of 
burden  merely  ;  and  you  are  not  only  to  work  for 
meat  that  perisheth,  but  I  myself  am  your  portion, 
and  you  will  become  a  source  of  rest  and  blessing 
to  your  wife,  and  to  your  son,  and  to  your  daughter, 


330  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

and  to  your  manservant,  and  to  your  maidservant, 
and  even  to  your  horses  and  to  all  your  cattle.  It 
was  the  idea  of  God  to  make  His  people  happy 
before  Him,  so  that  under  the  law  of  Moses  there 
were  very  few  fast  days,  but  a  great  number  of 
feast  days,  in  which  the  people  were  to  rejoice 
before  the  Lord  God  in  the  beautiful  harvest,  and 
in  all  the  bounties,  with  which  He  had  surrounded 
them.  And  as  they  are  to  be  a  nation  upon  the 
earth,  —  His  representatives  here  upon  earth, — He 
has  put  His  crown  upon  all  fathers  and  mothers,  as 
being  His  representatives,  and  therefore  He  says 
"  Honour  thy  father  and  thy  mother,"  which  is  the 
foundation  of  all  national  prosperity,  and  which 
includes  also  all  reverence  for  authorities  and 
governments,  which  the  Lord  in  His  providence 
establishes.  And  then  He  comes  to  the  relation  of 
man  to  man,  and  there  He  passes  from  the  outward 
to  the  inward — commanding  us  to  love  our  neighbour 
as  ourself!  doing  him  no  injury  by  act,  doing  him 
no  injury  by  word,  doing  him  no  injury  in  the  most 
inward  recesses  of  our  hearts:  "Thou  shalt  love  him." 
This  is  the  law  that  God  gave,  and,  like  God,  there 
is  nothing  to  compare  with  it.  Oh  that  it  were 
taught  in  all  our  families  !  oh  that  it  were  taught  in 
all  our  schools  !  and  that  it  were  taught  everywhere, 
where  there  are  human  beings  walking  upon  the  face 
of  the  earth,  for  the  law  is  spiritual.  Moses  sums 
up  the  law,  and  Jesus  sums  up  the  law,  but  Jesus 
makes  one  beautiful  reflection.  He  says  the  first 
commandment  must  necessarily  be  love  to  God. 
The  other  is  second,  but  He  does  not  like  to  put 
it  even  second  because,  if  it  is  second,  it  might  be 
separated  perhaps  from  the  first.     Jesus  Christ  is  so 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW         331 

anxious  to  show  that  the  first  table  of  the  law  and 
the  second  table  of  the  law  are  inseparably  connected 
that  He  says  the  other  is  second,  but  "  like  unto  it." 
And  the  whole  ist  epistle  of  John  is  only  an  ex- 
position of  this — that  love  to  God  and  love  to  man 
go  hand  in  hand  together,  not  as  Cain  was,  who 
hated  his  brother  Abel  ;  and  wherefore  did  he  hate 
him  ?  because  he  hated  God  ;  for  if  he  had  loved 
God,  he  would  have  loved  Abel  also. 

But  take  a  higher  view  of  the  ten  commandments. 
The  ten  commandments,  I  have  said,  were  the  face 
of  the  law,  the  countenance  of  the  law  ;  but  I  am 
bold  enough  to  say  that  the  ten  commandments 
are  the  very  countenance  of  God  Himself.  God  is 
Spirit.  "  Thou  shalt  not  make  thyself  any  graven 
image,  thou  shalt  hallow  the  name  of  God  "  ;  "  God  is 
light  and  truth  "  ;  "  Thou  desirest  truth  in  the  inward 
parts";  "Cleanse  thou  me  from  secret  faults";  "  Thou 
shalt  not  covet."  And  the  hallowing  of  the  name 
of  God  corresponds  also  with  this  —  that  God  is 
light  and  God  is  truth. 

And  lastly,  God  is  love.  ^  And  what  is  the  second 
table  of  the  law  but  this,  that  God  is  the  Father  of 
the  large  family,  and  that  the  children  are  to  love 
one  another  and  to  treat  one  another,  according  to 
the  character  of  God  Himself.  And  therefore,  when 
our  blessed  Saviour  Jesus  Christ  has  spoken  of  the 
righteousness,  there  is  no  other  righteousness  but 
that  righteousness  which  is  described  in  the  ten 
commandments.  When  He  dwelt  upon  the  various 
commandments,  —  as  Moses  with  the  three  elders 
that  ascended  up  on  high,  even  above  the  clouds 
and  darkness  of  the  Mount,  and  saw  the  God  of 
Israel  and  the  blue  under  his  feet,  and  as  the  lark 


332  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

which  soars  up  higher  with  her  thrilHng  melody,  so 
Jesus  Christ  says  unto  us,  "What  is  this  law,  but  that 
ye  may  be  the  children  of  your  Father  which  is  in 
heaven."  It  is  the  image  of  the  Father  that  you 
ought  to  see  in  this  law :  "  Be  ye  therefore  merciful 
and  generous  as  your  Father  is  merciful  and  generous. 
And  be  ye  perfect  as  your  Father  which  is  in  heaven 
is  perfect."  This  was  the  law  which  God  gave  to 
His  people.  But  as  the  Lord  was  holy,  just,  and 
good,  and  as  Israel  was  sinful  and  guilty  and  polluted 
and  under  the  sentence  of  death,  how  was  it  possible 
— what  was  the  method  by  which  it  was  possible — 
that  there  should  be  communion  between  God  and 
the  people  ?  And  yet  God,  because  He  is  holy, 
wished  to  draw  this  people  into  close  communion 
with  Himself.  "  I  will  dwell  in  the  midst  of  them  : 
I  will  be  their  God.  I  will  dwell  with  them  and 
they  shall  dwell  in  me."  He  wished  to  marry  them. 
He  wished  to  become  one  of  them — to  become  one 
with  them.  What  a  contradiction  is  there  here. 
God  says,  "  Then  I  will  be  merciful,  I  will  forgive 
all  your  sins  ;  I  will  bring  you  near  to  myself,"  and 
God  forgives  sins  in  such  a  way  that  He  is  the  Holy 
One,  and  that  nothing  of  what  He  has  said  against 
sin  is  cancelled,  and  that  the  connection  between 
sin  and  the  wrath  of  God,  and  sin  and  death  and 
the  curse,  is  only  made  clearer.  Therefore  He  gives 
to  Israel  the  sacrifices  :  "  Without  shedding  of  blood 
there  is  no  remission  of  sin."  God  is  a  just  God,  and 
yet  the  justifier  of  the  guilty.  The  feeling  of  the 
sinfulness  of  guilt  and  pollution  is  only  deepened 
in  the  hearts  of  Israel,  who  receive  the  forgiveness 
of  sin.  Observe  the  language  of  the  51st  Psalm. 
David  had   nothing  but  the  law  of  Moses,  to  teach 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND  WHOLE  LAW         333 

him  the  51st  Psalm;  and  in  this  51st  Psahn  he 
says,  "  Have  mercy  upon  me  according  to  thy  loving- 
kindness  :  according  to  the  multitude  of  thy  tender 
mercies  blot  out  all  my  iniquities,  for  my  sin  is  ever 
before  me.  Against  thee,  thee  only,  have  I  sinned, 
that  thou  mightcst  be  justified  when  thou  judgest. 
And  not  merely  have  I  sinned,  but  I  am  altogether 
a  mass  of  sin.  My  whole  existence  is  sin.  I  was 
shapen  in  iniquity."  The  law  had  impressed  upon 
him  the  3rd  chapter  of  Genesis,  that  we  are  ruined 
in  the  fall  of  Adam,  and  inherit  this  guilt  which 
separates  us  from  God.  "  Purge  me  with  hyssop 
and  I  shall  be  clean"  (the  blood  of  Christ) ;  "Wash  me 
and  I  shall  be  whiter  than  snow  "  (the  divine  righteous- 
ness imputed  to  us).  So  you  see  the  law  did  what  God 
meant  it  to  do,  and  lest  Israel  should  imagine  that  God 
forgives  sins — but  that  we  must  do  our  part  and  sanc- 
tify ourselves  unto  the  Lord — lest  there  should  be  any 
such  idea  of  co-operation  in  the  mind  of  Israel,  any  such 
conditional  salvation — oh,  how  was  Israel  continually 
taught :  "  I,  even  I,  am  He  that  sanctifies  thee."  For 
how  can  you  explain  in  the  Psalms  the  constant 
cry  which  rose  out  of  Israel,  "  Incline  my  heart  to 
keep  thy  commandments"; — then  the  heart  was  not 
inclined  to  keep  the  commandments  of  God.  Read 
the  119th  Psalm,  and  if  there  is  any  Pelagianism 
or  Arminianism  in  you,  it  will  be  rooted  up  by  the 
grace  of  God  ;  and  although  you  often  read  in  the 
Old  Testament  "  Sanctify  yourselves,"  that  has  only 
reference  to  this  ceremonial  cleansing  and  to  outward 
bodily  preparations  for  coming  near  to  God.  In  the 
New  Testament  you  never  read  about  sanctifying 
yourselves, — for  Christ  is  our  sanctification,  who  by 
His  blood   has  transplanted  us  out  of  the  region  of 


334  DEEP  SPIRITUAL  MEANING 

sin  and  death,  and  brought  us  into  the  region  of 
righteousness  and  Hfe  by  God's  electing  love — by  the 
power  of  the  blood  of  Jesus  and  through  the  applica- 
tion of  the  Holy  Ghost, — all  which  was  shown  in  the 
law  which  God  gave  to  Israel.  Therefore  God  ap- 
pointed holy  persons,  priests,  and  holy  places  where 
He  would  reveal  Himself  and  give  to  Israel  His 
gifts,  and  enable  Israel  to  bring  to  Him  their  gifts 
to  the  tabernacle.  And  He  appointed  holy  times, 
festivals,  in  which  all  the  various  component  parts 
of  the  divine  dealings  in  redemption  are  broken  up, 
as  it  were,  into  fragments,  that  they  may  be  taught 
one  aspect  after  another.  Oh  it  was  a  wonderfully 
merciful  dispensation. 

I  must  pass  over  this  to  say  only  one  thing. 
With  all  its  beauty,  with  all  its  glory,  and  with  all 
its  loving-kindness,  the  law  was  a  failure.  It  made 
nothing  perfect ;  the  people  of  Israel  felt  that  all 
these  were  shadows.  They  all  knew  that  the 
blood  of  beasts  could  not  take  away  sins.  They 
all  knew  that  the  sacrifices  had  to  be  repeated 
continually.  They  all  knew  that  the  day  of  atone- 
ment was  only  for  one  year,  starting  them  as  it 
were  again,  so  that  the  communion  between  God  and 
Israel  might  be  kept  up  for  another  year.  Therefore 
under  the  Old  Testament,  as  the  apostle  teaches  us 
in  the  Hebrews,  the  conscience  was  not  made  perfect 
concerning  sin,  and  the  forgiveness  which  they  had, 
was,  so  to  speak,  only  through  the  patience  and  for- 
bearance of  God,  waiting,  as  the  apostle  says  in  the  3rd 
chapter  of  the  epistle  to  the  Romans,  until  the  blood, 
the  real  blood  of  Jesus  Christ,  was  brought  into  the 
Holy  of  Holies.  "  The  law  made  nothing  perfect,"  and 
although  the  righteousness  was  not  perfectly  revealed 


OF  THE  DECALOGUE  AND   WHOLE  LAW         335 

and  appropriated  under  the  law,  yet  all  who  believed 
were  accepted  of  God,  and  beloved.  So  God,  in 
the  strict  sense  of  the  word,  was  not  yet  revealed 
in  the  Holy  of  Holies,  where  there  was  darkness,  for 
God  dwelleth  in  light  unapproachable,  and  the  very 
excess  of  that  light  makes  it  unapproachable,  and 
the  very  excess  of  that  light  makes  it  darkness  to  man. 
Into  that  Holy  of  Holies  the  priests  could  not  go,  the 
Levites  could  not  go,  the  people  could  not  go,  and 
the  high  priest  could  go  only  once  a  year,  the  Holy 
Ghost  thus  signifying  that  the  way  into  the  Holy  of 
Holies  had  not  yet  been  made  manifest.  Well  might 
Philip  say  to  our  blessed  Jesus,  "  Show  us  the  Father 
and  it  sufficeth  us  " — that  was  the  desire  of  Israel 
during  all  the  preceding  years — and  Jesus  said,  "  lie 
that  hath  seen  me  hath  seen  the  Father  "  ;  and  the 
true  tabernacle,  the  eternal  sanctuary  of  God  is  above, 
and  thus  we  read,  "  If  any  man  sin  we  have  an 
advocate  with  the  Father,  even  Jesus  Christ  the 
righteous."  And  there  was  a  third  thing  that  was 
not  given  by  the  law.  That  was  the  indwelling  of 
the  Holy  Ghost,  for  as  the  apostle  Paul  says,  "  If  life 
could  have  been  given  by  the  law,"  it  would  not  have 
been  necessary  for  Jesus  Christ  to  come,  and  to  die. 
They  were  in  the  spirit  of  bondage,  in  the  spirit  of 
little  children  who  were  now  under  tutors  and 
governors,  but  unto  all  who  believe  in  Jesus,  there 
is  given  the  Holy  Ghost  as  the  indwelling  spirit  and 
comforter.  Therefore  in  them  is  fulfilled  the  right- 
eousness of  the  law,  who  walk  not  after  the  flesh  but 
after  the  spirit.  And  to  conclude,  what  applies  to 
the  law  in  order  to  obtain  righteousness  or  the  know- 
ledge of  God,  or  the  possession  of  the  Holy  Ghost, 
applies  to  everything  else  in  connection  with  Israel  ; 


336      SPIRITUAL  MEANING  OF  DECALOGUE,  ETC. 

for  what  the  law  could  not  do  in  that  it  was  weakened 
through  the  flesh,  God  Himself  must  do.  Where  is 
the  land  which  God  gave  unto  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob  ?  Is  it  not  trodden  down  under  foot  of  the 
Gentiles  ?  And  has  not  God  promised  it  to  them, 
and  has  not  God  given  to  them  this  law  on  purpose 
that  they  might  enjoy  the  land,  and  He  would  make 
it  a  fruitful  and  lovely  land,  where  every  man  could 
sit  under  his  own  fig-tree  and  rejoice  in  the  bounty 
of  the  Lord  his  God  ?  They  have  not  got  it.  Why 
have  they  not  got  it?  What  the  law  could  not  do 
in  that  it  was  weakened  through  the  flesh,  must  be 
left  to  Jesus  to  accomplish.  And  so,  as  to  the  whole 
history  of  the  Old  Testament,  you  may  write  upon 
it  that  it  is  a  failure,  because  it  was  weakened 
through  the  flesh.  But  you  may  write  upon  it  that 
it  is  yea  and  amen  in  Christ  Jesus,  who  is  the  Alpha 
and  the  Omega,  the  root  and  the  offspring  of  David, 
the  son  of  Abraham,  and  yet  the  I  Am,  before  Abra- 
ham. Oh  that  the  Lord  would  hasten  the  day  when 
there  will  be  no  agnostics,  but  when  "  all  flesh  shall 
know  that  I  am  the  Lord,"  when  the  glory  tran- 
scendent of  the  new  covenant  will  show  us  the 
faithfulness  and  grace  of  God  manifested  to  Israel. 
Amen. 


XVI 

THE   JEWISH    ORDINANCES    SHOWN    TO    REVEAL 
VIVIDLY   THE    GOSPEL 

The  object  of  God's  revealing  Himself — Worship — The  tribe  of  Levi— 
The  priests — Their  office — The  high -priest — Anointed  as  sym- 
bolising Messiah  in  his  priestly  functions  of  sacrifice  and  interces- 
sion— The  blessing  of  the  sons  of  Aaron — Its  full  gospel  meaning 
— The  special  place  of  worship  pre-figuring  the  heavenly  sanctuary 
—  The  tabernacle  —  The  times  represented  l)y  the  number  seven 
— The  festivals — The  national  law  based  on  the  sanctities  of  family 
life — Perfect  justice — Respect  to  the  liberties  and  rights  of  the 
people — Regard  for  the  poor  and  the  stranger — Tenure  of  land 
— Moses  the  Mediator — In  so  many  things,  he  foreshadowed  Christ 
and  the  Gospel. 

I  MUST  say  at  the  beginning  that  I  am  obh'ged, 
very  reluctantly,  to  give  up  my  intention  of  speaking 
at  present  on  the  course  of  prophecy,  which  had 
its  starting-point  in  David.  As  there  were  so  many 
points  with  regard  to  Moses,  which  I  was  not  able 
to  bring  before  you  in  the  last  lecture,  I  must  limit 
myself  to  concluding  the  remarks,  which  I  made 
upon  Moses  and  the  dispensation  that  was  entrusted 
to  him. 

The  object  of  God's  revealing  Himself  is  worship. 
God  reveals  Himself  to  man  in  order  that  man  may 
worship  Him.  God  comes  to  man  in  order  that  man 
may  come  to  God.  God  reveals  Himself  to  us  as  a 
holy  God.      God  reveals  to  us  what  man  is,  in  order 

Z 


338  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHO]VN  TO 

that  He  may  show  us  the  wonderful  solution  of  this 
problem  : — How  there  can  be  communion  between 
God  and  man  in  the  person  of  His  own  Son,  who  is 
God  and  man  in  one  person,  and  who  bringeth  .us 
unto  the  Father.  He  had  chosen  Israel  to  be  His 
nation,  a  nation  of  priests.  They  were  "  holy  unto 
the  Lord."  And  yet,  as  in  themselves  they  were  full 
of  sin,  and  under  the  sentence  of  death,  He  gave 
them  the  law  in  order  to  show  that  sin  was 
exceedingly  sinful,  and  that  in  His  presence  neither 
sin  nor  death  was  able  to  stand.  And  thus  the 
whole  life  of  the  Israelite,  from  his  birth  to  his  death, 
was  concluded  under  sin,  and  he  was  continually 
reminded,  by  the  purifications  and  sacrifices  which 
he  had  to  offer,  that  all  that  was  connected  with 
himself  and  with  his  earthly  life  was  polluted  by  sin, 
and  required  the  grace  of  God  and  the  propitiation 
of  a  mediator,  in  order  that  it  might  be  no  hindrance 
or  obstacle  to  his  having  communion  with  God.  - 

But  although  the  whole  nation  was  in  that  way 
"  Holiness  unto  the  Lord,"  yet  it  pleased  God  out  of 
that  nation  to  select  for  Himself  one  tribe,  to  be  as  it 
were  the  representative  of  the  nation  ;  although  every- 
thing that  was  said  of  the  tribe  of  Levi,  when  Korah 
rebelled  against  their  priority,  may  be  said  of  all 
Israel  :  "  On  the  morrow  ye  shall  know  who  is  mine, 
and  who  is  holy,  and  whom  I  have  chosen,  that  he 
may  draw  near  unto  God "  ;  yet  it  was  necessary 
that  this  special  tribe  should  be  to  Israel  a  type  and 
illustration  of  what  was  meant  by  holiness,  and  of 
what  the  purposes  of  God  were  concerning  them. 
They  stood  before  God,  drawing  near  unto  Him,  and 
in  this  way  representing  the  whole  nation  that  was 
to  be  brought  into   His  presence.      It  was  they  who 


REVEAL    VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  339 

offered  the  sacrifices  and  offerings  unto  the  Lord  ; 
it  was  they  who  by  incense  showed,  that  the  prayers 
and  supplications  of  the  whole  nation  of  Israel  could 
only  ascend  unto  God  through  holiness,  and  it  was 
through  them,  that  the  blessing  of  the  Most  High 
was  pronounced  upon  His  people.  When  we  think 
of  the  priests  and  Levites  as  they  were  among  Israel, 
we  must  look  away  altogether  from  the  abuses  which 
afterwards  crept  in  among  Israel,  and  in  a  still  worse 
way,  into  the  medijeval  Church.  In  the  first  place, 
the  priests  that  were  in  Israel  had  no  political  power. 
Their  position,  and  the  way  in  which  they  were 
sustained,  precluded  them  from  exercising  any  undue 
influence  over  the  course  of  the  nation.  They  were 
not  like  a  priestly  caste  as  we  find  it  among  other 
nations,  nor  did  they  exert  that  influence  which 
afterwards,  in  the  days  of  our  Lord,  the  hierarchy  in 
Palestine  exercised  over  the  nation.  Another  thing 
to  be  remarked  about  them  was  this — they  did  not 
appoint  themselves,  nor  did  the  people  appoint  them, 
but  God  appointed  them.  And  it  was  they  who 
were  descended  from  Aaron,  who  belonged  to  the 
tribe  of  Levi,  who  by  reason  of  their  birth  were  ap- 
pointed to  represent  the  whole  nation,  and  especially 
the  first  born  of  the  nation,  unto  God.  Nor  had  they 
any  power  to  develop  the  law.  There  was  nothing 
in  the  form  of  tradition,  there  was  nothing  in  the 
form  of  teaching  and  developing  power,  given  to  them. 
On  the  contrary,  it  was  their  duty  to  guard  the  law 
that  nothing  should  be  added  to  it,  and  that  nothing 
should  be  taken  away  from  it.  And  lastly — not  as 
was  the  case  in  the  mediaeval  Church,  and  is  still 
the  case  in  the  Church  of  Rome — ^was  the  relation 
between   the  individual   conscience   and  God  in  any 


340  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

wise  interfered  with,  by  the  existence  of  the  Levites 
and  priesthood.  They  were  not  father  confessors.  It 
was  the  individual  himself  who,  of  his  own  accord  and 
according  to  his  own  ability,  confessed  his  sins  and 
laid  his  hands  upon  the  sacrifice.  The  priest  in  no 
wise  interfered  with  the  conscientious  difficulties,  and 
with  the  soul  troubles  of  the  people  that  came  to 
him.  It  was  for  him  only  to  carry  out  the  regulations, 
which  were  laid  down  in  the  books  of  Moses,  for  it 
was  deeply  impressed  upon  Israel  that  although  there 
were  priests  and  Levites,  yet  it  was  only,  so  to  speak, 
a  sad  necessity  that  led  to  this, — and  that  the  whole 
nation  was  a  nation  of  priests  unto  the  Lord. 

But  in  this  priesthood  we  find  that  there  was  one 
who  was  distinct  above  his  brethren.  He  was  called 
the  "  High-Priest,"  or,  according  to  the  original  in 
one  passage,  the  priest  that  is  greater  than  his 
brethren,  and  upon  whose  head  is  the  anointing  oil. 
Although  there  was  anointing  connected  with  the 
induction  of  all  the  priests  and  Levites,  yet  it  is 
most  emphatically  said  of  this  one  priest  who  is 
greater  than  his  brethren,  that  the  anointing  oil  was 
upon  his  head,  or,  in  other  words,  that  he  was  re- 
presentative of  Messiah.  And  it  was  the  prerogative, 
and  the  prerogative  of  the  high-priest  alone,  that  on 
the  day  of  atonement  he  was  allowed  to  enter  into 
the  Holy  of  Holies,  and  there  to  apply  the  blood  of 
propitiation  unto  the  mercy- seat,  or  the  lid  which 
covered  the  ark  of  the  covenant,  thus  showing 
that  the  whole  glory  of  the  priesthood  and  the 
whole  glory  of  Israel  consisted  in  this — that  through 
atonement  they  were  finally  to  be  brought  before 
the  very  face  of  the  Most  High,  there  to  be  ac- 
cepted by  Him,  and  regarded  with  His  good  pleasure. 


REVEAL    VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  341 

And  here  is  a  remarkable  point,  which  shows  the 
imperfection  of  mere  individual  types,  all  of  which 
have  to  be  combined,  in  order  to  give  us  an  approxi- 
mate idea  of  the  fulness  that  is  in  Christ,  Sacrifices 
and  offerings  and  all  the  services,  which  were  offered 
unto  the  Lord  on  behalf  of  His  people,  were  not 
sufficient  to  effect  communion  between  God  and 
them.  It  was  necessary  that  there  should  be  a 
person  who  represented  Israel  before  God,  and  here 
comes  in  again  that  idea  which  at  first  sight  appears 
so  strange  to  us,  but  which  runs  through  all  the 
dealings  of  God  with  man — the  idea  of  a  federal 
representative, — of  one  who  represents  a  multitude. 
So  Adam  represented  the  whole  human  race,  and 
so  Aaron  represented  the  whole  nation  of  Israel. 
When  God  is  pleased  with  Aaron,  He  is  pleased 
with  the  whole  nation.  This  man  Aaron  is  in  the 
sight  of  God,  Israel.  Upon  his  forehead  is  written 
"  Holiness  unto  the  Lord."  And  not  merely  does 
he  represent  Israel  in  that  he  brings  the  blood  of 
propitiation  into  the  Holy  of  Holies,  but  all  Israel's 
holy  things  are  full  of  defilement  and  pollution  ; 
their  prayers,  their  sacrifices,  their  offerings,  their 
services,  would  altogether  be  in  vain,  unless  there 
was  this  one  man  to  bring  them  before  the  Lord, 
and  to  make  intercession  on  behalf  of  them,  and 
on  behalf  of  the  sins  of  their  holy  things.  What  a 
wonderful  thing  it  is,  then,  that  although  all  Israel 
was  holy  unto  the  Lord,  because  God  had  chosen 
them  to  be  His,  and  that  although  the  first  born  of 
Israel  belonged  unto  the  Lord,  instead  of  whom 
stood  the  priests  and  the  Levites  ;  and  although 
there  were  sacrifices  of  every  kind  and  description, 
all   showing  forth   the   various  aspects  of  our  being 


342  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

brought  near  to  God,  yet  in  this  one  man  stood  all 
Israel  ; — the  forgiveness  of  their  sins,  the  acceptance 
of  theic  offerings,  their  justification,  and  their  sancti- 
fication  were  all  vested  in  this  one  man. 

There  is  another  idea  connected  with  the  priest- 
hood, and  especially  with  the  high  -  priest,  which  is 
of  great  importance,  and  it  is  this  :  God  is  holy, 
and  that  which  cannot  stand  before  a  holy  God  is 
twofold — namely  sin  and  death.  Sin  and  every- 
thing pertaining  to  it,  death  and  everything  leading 
up  to  it :  these  two  are  excluded  from  the  presence 
of  God,  for  God  is  the  living  One  and  God  is  of 
purer  eyes  than  to  behold  iniquity,  and  both  these 
ideas  are  included  in  that  which  includes  everything, 
namely,  that  God  is  holy,  or  God  is  God.  Therefore 
the  priest  was  never  allowed  to  come  into  contact  with 
death.  He  was  the  representative  of  life.  Death 
did  not  exist  for  him, — in  so  far  as  he  was  a  priest. 
And  this  is  the  beautiful  symbol  and  sign  which 
God  gave  to  Israel — that  Aaron's  rod  budded  and 
brought  forth  blossoms  and  almonds — for  what  we 
want  is  righteousness,  and  what  we  want  is  life ; 
and  the  law,  because  it  is  weakened  by  the  flesh, 
can  neither  give  us  righteousness  nor  can  it  give  us 
life  ;  but  there  is  righteousness  and  there  is  life,  not 
in  any  sacrifices,  not  in  any  services,  though  they 
also  adumbrate  Jesus  Christ,  but  in  a  person — in  the 
great  priest — in  Jesus  Christ  who  is  called  the  priest 
after  the  power  of  an  endless  life.  There  is  only  one 
other  point,  and  I  must  pass  on  from  these  holy  persons. 
As  representatives  of  the  nation  and  as  the  types  of 
our  Saviour  Jesus,  they  had  to  bring  the  blessings 
of  God  to  His  people.  God  alone  can  bless  us,  and 
the  blessing  of  God  includes  everything  that  God,  in 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  343 

His  sovereignty  and  in  His  covenant  love,  intends  to 
give  to  His  people.  And  that  remarkable  blessing 
that  the  sons  of  Aaron  pronounced  upon  the  congre- 
gation of  Israel  is  a  summary  of  all  God's  teachings 
and  of  all  God's  promises.  The  doctrine  of  the 
blessed  Trinity  can  be  clearly  seen  in  it  by  us,  and, 
to  a  certain  extent,  must  have  been  understood  by 
the  children  of  Israel,  who  continually  heard  that 
benediction,  and  rested  in  it.  God,  in  so  far  as  He 
is  incomprehensible  and  infinite,  the  hidden  source 
of  all  blessing  and  of  all  preservation,  is  the  Father. 
The  Father  hath  blessed  us  with  all  spiritual 
blessings  in  heavenly  places,  and  it  is  the  Father 
also  who  keeps  us  holy.  "  Father,  keep  through 
thine  own  name  those  whom  thou  hast  given  me." 
And  everything  that  can  be  seen  of  God  is  mani- 
fested in  the  Son,  who  is  the  countenance  of  God. 
Therefore  the  second  part  of  the  blessing  proceeds 
"The  Lord  make  his  face  shine  upon  thee,  and  be 
gracious  unto  thee  "  in  that  manifestation  of  himself, 
which  is  in  Christ  Jesus.  But  all  that  is  in  God 
incomprehensible  and  hidden,  and  all  that  is  in  God, 
manifested  and  through  propitiation  purchased  for 
us,  cannot  be  appropriated,  unless  it  be  by  the  power 
of  the  Holy  Ghost.  Therefore  we  have  here  God 
again,  Jehovah,  lifting  up  the  light  of  His  countenance, 
and  so  applying  it  to  the  mind  and  conscience  that 
we  may  have  peace.  This  was  the  wonderful  bene- 
diction which  the  sons  of  Aaron  in  God's  name  pro- 
nounced upon  the  people,  and  this  is  the  only  trace 
that  I  can  discover  in  the  Old  Testament  of  anything 
like  a  fixed  form,  that  was  to  be  used  in  the  services 
of  God.  The  prayers  of  the  people,  the  prayers  of  the 
priests,  the  intercession  of  the  high-priest,  were  not 


344  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

trammelled  by  any  fixed  form  of  words,  but,  were  ex- 
pressed as  the  Spirit  gave  them  utterance  ;  thus  they 
poured  out  the  desires  of  their  hearts  before  the  Lord ; 
but  what  God  wished  to  give  to  His  people — the 
covenant  revelation  and  blessings  of  His  infinite  love 
— was  given  to  the  people  by  the  words  chosen  by 
the  Holy  Ghost — to  be  to  Israel  a  never-ending  and 
inexhaustible  source  of  strength  and  of  consolation. 

As  there  were  holy  men  set  apart,  although  all 
Israel  was  holy,  so  there  was  a  place  set  apart  in 
which  God  and  His  people  were  to  meet,  where 
God  manifested  His  glory,  where  He  bestowed  upon 
Israel  the  blessings  of  forgiveness,  acceptance,  and  all 
that  was  necessary  for  their  spiritual  life,  and  where 
God  also  enabled  Israel  of  His  own  to  give  back  to 
Him  again.  The  gifts  which  He  bestows  are  changed 
into  gifts,  which  Israel  offers  again  unto  the  Lord. 

You  know  from  reading  the  whole  Old  Testa- 
ment that  Israel  never  entertained  any  superstitious 
idea  that  God  could  not  be  worshipped  everywhere. 
"  From  the  utmost  corner  of  the  land  will  I  cry  unto 
Thee."  Wherever  God  manifests  Himself  there  is 
holy  ground.  When  the  manifestation  of  God  is  at 
an  end,  the  holiness  of  the  ground  is  also  at  an  end. 
But  quite  in  consistency  with  this  idea,  God  wished 
to  show  to  Israel  that  there  was  only  one  mode  of 
worshipping  Him,  and  wished  also  to  pre-figure  that 
great  meeting-place,  where  God  and  His  people  will  be 
united  together  for  ever,  in  Christ  Jesus  our  Saviour. 
It  is  impossible  for  me  to  say  more  than  what  may 
just  serve  to  remind  you  of  this  wonderful  tabernacle, 
which  is  explained  to  some  extent  in  the  epistle  to 
the  Hebrews,  but  which  every  Christian,  more  or  less, 
through  the  light  of  the  New  Testament  teaching,  is 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  345 

able  to  explain  to  himself.  Thirteen  chapters  are  de- 
voted to  the  description  of  the  temple,  whereas  scarcely 
two  chapters  are  devoted  to  the  narration  of  the  crea- 
tion of  the  world.  For  this  purpose  was  the  whole 
world  prepared — that  God  and  His  people  should  be 
united  together,  and  that  there  should  be  glory  to 
God,  through  the  pardon  and  sanctification  of  a  people 
whom  He  has  chosen  unto  Himself  In  the  outer 
court,  where  the  people  were  allowed  to  come,  we 
have  Christ  manifested,  as  our  substitution  and  as  our 
atonement.  There,  stood  the  brazen  altar  upon  which 
the  sacrifices  were  brought  into  the  holy  place,  where 
the  priests  served.  There,  was  the  candlestick  with 
seven  branches.  There,  was  the  table  with  the 
twelve  loaves  of  the  hallowed  bread.  There,  was 
the  golden  altar  of  incense.  In  the  Holy  of  Holies 
there  was  always  darkness,  but  there  was  the  ark  of 
the  covenant,  for  everything  was  based  upon  the 
covenant  which  was  made  with  Abraham,  Isaac,  and 
Jacob.  And  as  the  great  treasure  and  jewel  of  that 
covenant — inside  the  ark — there  was  the  law  of 
God  ;  and  since  Israel  was  a  transgressor  of  the  law 
of  God,  there  was  the  mercy-seat  or  the  lid  which  was 
sprinkled  with  the  blood.  And  since  in  Israel,  as 
afterwards  in  the  Church,  there  was  to  be  shown,  to 
the  powers  and  principalities,  the  wonderful  depth  of 
the  love  of  God  and  the  end  and  purpose  of  all  crea- 
tion, there  were  the  cherubim,  as  the  representatives 
of  God's  creative  glory,  who  desired  to  look  into  this 
mystery.  The  light  which  was  in  the  holy  place 
was  in  reality  the  manifestation  of  that  light  which 
could  not  be  seen  on  account  of  its  great  brightness, 
and  that  light  is  none  other  but  Christ  ;  and  at  the 
same    time    that    lisrht    is   also    in    believers   who    in 


346  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

Christ  Jesus  are  light  unto  the  Lord,  even  as  Israel 
in  Jehovah  was  a  light  unto  the  Gentiles.  The 
bread  which  was  upon  the  table  in  one  aspect  was  the 
bread  which  God  gave  unto  the  twelve  tribes,  it  was 
the  bread  which  came  down  from  heaven,  in  which 
the  countenance  of  God  was  manifested  ;  but  on  the 
other  hand,  it  was  also  the  bread  which  the  twelve 
tribes  offered  unto  God,  working  for  bread  which 
should  not  perish,  bringing  forth  that  which  in  the 
sight  of  God  was  regarded  as  the  true  bread,  and  thus 
satisfied  Him,  because  it  was  the  life  of  His  people. 
And  so  was  the  golden  altar  of  incense  a  representa- 
tion of  the  prayer  that  is  acceptable  to  God — both 
the  prayer  of  Christ  and  the  prayer  of  all  who  are 
Christ's,  who  only  in  Him  and  with  Him  are  able  to 
offer  up  their  petitions  to  the  Father.  The  difficulty 
of  explaining  the  tabernacle  is  this — that  God  in  His 
wonderful  wisdom  has  combined  so  many  things  by 
this  one  illustration,  for  the  primary  fulfilment  is  in 
Christ  who  was  the  tabernacle.  "  The  Word  was 
made  flesh  and  tabernacled  among  us."  "  Destroy 
the  temple  and  I  will  build  it  again  ;  this  spake  he 
of  his  body."  And  in  this  temple  there  were  two 
things  that  there  were  in  the  tabernacle — the  glory 
of  God  revealing  Himself,  and  Jesus  in  His  humanity 
giving  to  God  all  that  man  can  give  to  God,  that  is 
well  pleasing  to  the  Father,  And  if  even  this  ap- 
plication already  contains  such  a  number  of  elements 
and  aspects  that  we  can  only  profitably  meditate, 
so  to  speak,  superficially  on  them,  the  riches  and 
abundance  of  the  teaching  of  the  tabernacle  appear 
still  more,  when  we  go  on  to  say  that  the  fulfilment 
of  the  tabernacle  is  not  in  Christ  alone,  but  that  it  is 
in  Christ  in  union  with   His   people — that  in  Christ 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  347 

both  God  and  man  meet,  God  showing  Himself  to 
us.  and  God  giving  in  Christ  all  that  we  need,  light 
and  bread  and  the  power  of  prayer,  after  having  been 
reconciled  to  us  by  the  blood  of  Christ, — and  we 
offering  up  to  God  in  Christ  all  the  offerings  that 
are  pleasing  to  Him,  and  being  a  light  before  God, 
and  showing  to  God  that  the  purposes  of  His  grace 
are  fulfilled  in  us,  through  the  indwelling  of  the  Spirit. 
And  so  everything  in  this  tabernacle  was  intended 
to  teach, — for  it  was  not  as  sanctuaries  of  other 
nations,  built  according  to  the  ingenuity  and  wisdom 
of  man,  but  it  was  built  according  to  the  pattern 
which  God  showed  to  Moses  in  the  Mount.  Moses 
was  only  carrying  out  the  idea  of  God,  and  all  the 
men  that  were  engaged  in  preparing  the  tabernacle 
were  fitted  and  sustained  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  in 
doing  this  great  work.  So  there  is  nothing  in  this 
tabernacle  that  does  not  teach  us.  Even  in  the 
metal  that  is  used — where  brass  is  used  and  where 
gold  is  used — there  is  always  a  spiritual  meaning. 
And  so  with  even  the  colours  which  occur  and  the 
order  in  which  the  colours  occur,  for  they  are  always 
in  the  same  order.  There  is  the  blue,  and  there  is  the 
purple,  and  there  is  the  scarlet,  and  the  white,  the  white 
either  before  the  three  or  after  the  three,  but  always 
in  this  order, — the  Holy  Ghost  by  all  this  symbolis- 
ing what  is  reality  and  substance  in  Christ  Jesus. 

I  hasten  on  to  the  third  holy  thing  represented 
— holy  times.  Here  we  must  notice  the  times 
which  are  represented  by  the  number  seven — the 
seventh  day,  the  seventh  month  of  the  year,  which 
was  the  beginning  of  the  civil  year,  the  seventh  year, 
and  the  seven  times  seventh  year,  or  the  fiftieth.  And 
in  all   these  festivals  the  same  idea  is  represented. 


348  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

namely,  that,  notwithstanding,  that  this  world  is  under 
sin,  and  under  the  chastening  government  of  God, 
it  is  the  wish  of  God  that  in  all  our  affliction,  and  in 
all  our  trouble,  and  in  all  our  labour,  we  should  always 
return  to  Him  and  find  in  Him  our  rest  and  our  joy — 
and  therefore  the  burden  and  the  toil  are  ameliorated, 
the  deeds  are  cancelled  and  released.  The  property 
in  the  fiftieth  year .  returns  to  the  original  owner, 
God  showing  to  us  in  all  things  that  although  we 
are  here  upon  earth,  and  although  we  are  a  sinful  and 
fallen  people,  yet,  being  His  people,  the  number  that 
characterises  us  is  not  six  but  seven,  for  six  without 
the  seven  is  a  dreadful  number,  as  is  shown  by  that 
mystical  number  in  the  book  of  Revelation — six 
hundred  and  sixty -six.  But  ours  is  the  seventh, 
because  we  are  holy  unto  the  Lord,  and  even  here 
have  a  foretaste  of  the  coming  glory.  And  Israel 
specially  as  a  nation  was  to  show  forth  that  glorious 
millennium  which  we  are  all  awaiting,  when  upon 
the  earth  there  shall  be  the  beauty  of  the  Lord,  and 
all  things  shall  rejoice  before  Him,  and  be  pros- 
perous through  His  presence. 

Then  we  have  the  other  festivals  all  based  upon 
the  passover,  which  is  the  beginning  of  the  year — 
the  passover  of  which  we  find  in  the  Bible  seven 
celebrations  recorded,  the  last  being  that,  at  which 
our  blessed  Saviour  brake  the  bread  and  gave  to  His 
disciples.  There  is  one  aspect  of  the  passover  which 
is  often  overlooked,  and  that  is  the  resurrection  of 
our  blessed  Saviour,  when  the  sheaf,  as  the  beginning 
of  the  harvest,  was  waved  towards  heaven  on  the 
first  day  after  the  Sabbath,  or  on  the  first  day  of  the 
week,  which  is  Christ  the  first-fruits  rising  from  the 
dead,  after  having  been  the  Paschal  Lamb.      And  so, 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  349 

seven  weeks  after  that,  there  was  the  feast,  when  the 
harvest  had  been  completed,  for  God  combined  the 
works  of  grace  with  the  manifestations  of  His  good- 
ness in  nature ;  and  specially  as  Israel  was  an 
agricultural  nation,  all  the  blessings  of  God  in  nature 
and  the  events  of  the  natural  year  were  to  be 
connected  with  the  events  of  divine  grace  and  re- 
demption. And  then  we  have  the  two  loaves,  that 
is  the  conclusion  of  the  harvest,  and  the  realisation 
of  the  harvest  in  Israel  being  holy  unto  the  Lord, 
afterwards  fulfilled  in  Pentecost,  when  the  hundred 
and  twenty  were  filled  with  the  Holy  Ghost.  This 
is  the  fulfilment,  as  the  resurrection  of  Jesus  is  the 
fulfilment  of  the  waving  of  the  sheaf.  And  then 
there  was  the  feast  of  tabernacles  which  looked  for- 
ward to  the  future  when  Israel  should  rejoice  before 
the  Lord,  reminding  of  the  days  in  the  wilderness, 
that  they  might  always  be  humble  before  Him,  but 
delivered  from  all  their  troubles  ; — and  the  day 
of  atonement,  upon  which  the  whole  communion  of 
Israel  with  God  rested  from  year  to  year. 

And  novv^  I  need  not  say  more  than  a  few 
words  about  the  fulfilment  and  the  substance  of  all 
this  to  us.  Among  Christians  there  are  no  priests, 
because  all  are  priests.  All  Christians  are  holy  unto 
the  Lord.  They  are  a  royal  priesthood.  They  are 
all  of  them  priests  to  offer  up  sacrifices  unto  the 
Lord.  Those  who  are  appointed  to  be  stewards  of 
the  mysteries  of  God,  and  shepherds  of  the  congrega- 
tions, have  many  names  assigned  to  them  in  the  New 
Testament  epistles,  but  never  is  the  word  "  priest " 
applied  to  them,  because  it  would  have  been  quite 
unintelligible  both  to  them  and  their  congregations, 
and  a  contradiction  of  everything  that  they  had  been 


3SO  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

taught ;  for  the  priesthood  of  our  blessed  Lord  and 
Saviour  Jesus  Christ  is  not  after  the  order  of  Aaron, 
but  after  the  order  of  Melchizedek, — and  all,  who  be- 
long to  Jesus,  are  holy  in  Him.  To  quote  the  words 
of  a  recent  writer  in  Germany  on  the  question  of  holi- 
ness :  "  It  was  only  when  the  Jewish  Christian  branch 
of  the  Church  had,  so  to  speak,  disappeared,  that  not 
knowing  the  Old  Testament  in  the  original,  but  only 
from  the  Septuagint  version,  the  deterioration  in  the 
view  of  people  with  regard  to  holiness  commenced 
and  rapidly  developed,"  for  the  idea  of  holiness,  as  I 
have  often  had  occasion  to  remark,  is  a  twofold  one. 
The  first,  the  fundamental,  the  primary  idea,  is  that 
which  God  in  His  election  separates  unto  Himself. 
The  second  idea,  which  is  merely  derivative,  although 
special  and  precious,  is  the  idea  of  purity — that 
what  He  has  separated  unto  Himself  is  to  con- 
sider itself  separated  from  sin,  and  from  the  world, 
and  from  all  ungodliness.  But  as  in  those  days 
they  had  chiefly  to  do  with  the  gross  sins  and  vices 
of  the  pagans,  which  had  come  into  the  Christian 
Church,  so  they  left  out  the  primary  idea  of  holiness, 
and  laid  more  stress  upon  the  secondary  idea  of  holi- 
ness— that  is  purity.  Precious  as  this  idea  is, — to 
present  this  separate  from  the  primary  idea  brings  us 
back  into  the  flesh  and  to  the  law,  and  to  that  which 
is  in  contradistinction  to  all  the  doctrines  of  grace. 
And  so  it  came  to  pass  that  people  spoke  about  a 
very  holy  man.  Could  you  imagine  the  apostle  Paul 
or  the  apostle  John  saying  "  very  holy "  ?  They 
could  not  say  it.  The  expression  "  very  holy  "  is  an 
absurdity,  for  in  holiness  there  is  no  degree.  We 
are  separated  unto  God  by  Himself.  There  are 
degrees  of  our  faithfulness  ;  there  are  degrees  of  our 


REVEAL    VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  351 

diligence  ;  there  are  degrees  of  our  attainments  ;  but 
in  holiness  there  is  no  gradation.  Likewise  is  it  an 
utterly  unbiblical  idea  to  speak  of  "  Saint "  Paul  or 
"  Saint "  John  as  if  the  other  believers  were  not 
saints.  Likewise  are  there  no  holy  places  any 
more  :  "  Where  two  or  three  are  gathered  together 
in  my  name  I  will  be  in  the  midst  of  them "  — 
while  they  are  gathered  together, — but  when  they 
are  not  gathered  together  there  is  nothing  in  the 
place  whatever.  The  only  holy  place  that  we  have 
is  the  heavenly  sanctuary,  where  Christ  is  at  the 
right  hand  of  God.  And  as  there  are  no  holy  places, 
so  are  there  likewise  no  holy  seasons.  There  is  one 
day  which  we  commemorate — the  day  on  which  our 
blessed  Lord  rose  from  the  dead  ;  and  that,  not 
merely  in  contrast  with  the  day  of  the  Sabbath  which 
the  synagogue  observes,  but  also  as  a  kind  of  pre- 
liminary to  it,  so  that  both  the  ideas  of  the  creation 
and  of  the  redemption  are  combined  in  this.  But  how 
imperfect  all  this  symbolism  is,  is  evident,  because 
there  are  so  many  things  that  have  to  be  combined. 
The  first  sign  of  the  imperfection  of  it  all,  is  that 
there  are  so  many  things.  It  is  broken  up  into 
fragments,  and  we  know  that  in  reality  it  could  not 
be  so  ;  it  must  be  one.  And  the  second  sign  of 
its  imperfection  is  this — that  even  the  priests  and 
the  high-priest  had  to  offer  up  sacrifices,  for  them- 
selves to  appear  before  God.  How  glorious  is  that 
perfection  which  is  given  to  us  in  Christ  Jesus  who 
is  the  tabernacle,  who  is  the  priest,  in  whom  there 
is  everything  that  God  taught  His  people,  condescend- 
ing in  His  great  mercy  to  their  weakness. 

Let    me   add    now   a    few   words   upon    the   law 
which  God  srave  to  Israel   as  a  nation — the  national 


352  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

law.  He  was  their  king.  The  first  time  that  holi- 
ness is  mentioned  in  the  Bible  is  in  the  song  of 
Moses  after  redemption  :  "  Glorious  in  holiness,  who 
is  like  unto  Thee  ?  "  The  first  time  that  the  king- 
ship of  Jehovah  is  mentioned  is  in  that  same  song. 
In  your  translation  it  says,  "Jehovah  shall  reign"  ; 
the  Hebrew  is,  "  Jehovah  shall  be  king  for  ever  and 
for  ever."  This  law  which  God  gave  to  Moses, 
political  and  civil,  or  whatever  you  like  to  call  it,  is 
wonderful,  when  we  contrast  it  with  all  other  legisla- 
tion. Plato  the  great  philosopher  wrote  a  kind 
of  poem  of  what  the  State  should  be — the  ideal  that 
he  had  of  a  State  ;  but,  in  the  first  place,  this  was 
all  a  work  of  imagination,  and  secondly,  even  as  a 
work  of  imagination,  his  ideas  of  a  State  are  such 
as  cannot  for  a  single  moment  be  compared  with 
the  divine  idea  of  a  State.  He  only  regarded  what 
appeared  to  him  the  prosperity  of  the  Common- 
wealth. The  value  of  the  individual  soul,  the 
sanctity  of  the  family  life — these  were  mysteries  to 
him,  which  he  was  not  able  to  fathom.  But  oh  how 
different  is  that  law  which  God  gave  to  His  people. 
He  Himself,  in  the  strictest  sense  of  the  word,  was 
their  king.  Law  emanates  from  Him  ;  and  every- 
thing that  He  has  commanded,  even  though  it  refers 
to  minute  detail  of  our  daily  life,  has  upon  it  the 
impression  "  I  am  holy."  Parents,  governors,  magis- 
trates, are  not  representatives  of  the  family  or  of  the 
nation  ;  they  are  the  representatives  of  God,  and  in 
that  respect  they  are,  so  to  speak,  combined  with 
God.  The  greatest  justice  is  to  be  observed.  The 
judge  is  to  take  no  bribe.  He  is  to  consider  all 
alike,  as  in  the  sight  of  God.  And  the  idea  of 
purity   pervades   the   whole    law   of  Moses,   even    to 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  353 

an  extent  we  are  not  able  to  appreciate,  because 
the  distinction  that  is  made  with  regard,  for  instance, 
to  food,  and  the  many  regulations  that  are  made 
in  connection  with  the  various  events  of  life,  must 
all  have  a  symbolical  meaning ;  but  this  we  can 
understand — they  mean  that  Israel  is  to  be  separate 
unto  the  Lord  in  everything, — for  the  multiplicity 
of  duties,  relationships,  and  occupations,  which  God 
has  put  us  into,  do  not  contradict  our  being  "  holy 
unto  the  Lord "  ;  but  God  Himself  must  show 
us  how  they  are  to  be  used  and  enjoyed  as  in 
His  presence,  and  as  in  communion  with  Him.  And 
the  next  question  as  to  the  law  is  this  :  Where  is 
the  centre  of  gravity  in  the  commonwealth  ?  It  was 
a  blasphemous  saying  of  the  French  king,  "  I  am  the 
State  "  ;  nor  is  it  right  to  say  that  the  masses  are 
the  State.  The  centre  of  Israel  was  Jehovah.  All 
was  to  Him,  and  for  Him  ;  and  the  king  upon  his 
throne,  and  the  governors  and  rulers,  and  all  the 
people  were  living  for  one  another,  because  they 
were  living  unto  God.  The  idea  of  a  State,  of  a 
Commonwealth,  and  all  the  problems  that  are  con- 
nected with  it, — most  deeply  interesting  and  affecting 
as  they  are  when  we  consider  the  condition  of  the 
world, — finds  its  grand  solution  here,  if  we  would  only 
study  it  and  lay  it  to  heart.  The  poorest  among  the 
Jews  considered  himself  a  nobleman.  The  Jews  kept 
their  genealogies.  They  were  a  nation  of  brethren. 
The  twelve  tribes  were,  as  it  were,  twelve  brother- 
hoods, and  before  Jehovah  they  were  all  united. 
Moses  said,  anticipating  that  there  would  be  a  king 
in  Israel,  that  the  king  was  not  to  lift  up  his  heart 
above  his  brethren, — nor  did  God  ever  wish  or  com- 
mand that  in  Israel  there  should  be  great  accumula- 

2  A 


354  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

tion  of  wealth,  and  of  property.  He  Himself  made 
provision  against  this.  Poor  there  should  always  be 
in  the  land,  but  not  that  abject  poverty  which  we 
behold  in  those  countries,  that  call  themselves 
Christian.  The  law  was  a  law  of  kindness  and  of 
mercy,  under  which  the  poor,  the  lonely,  the  stranger, 
the  blind  and  the  weak  and  the  widow  and  the 
orphan  were  to  be  considered, — for  "  I  am  the  Lord." 
The  cattle  were  to  have  rest  on  the  Sabbath  day, 
and  the  owners  were  to  see  that  they  were  not  over- 
burdened. And  not  merely  was  it  a  law  of  kindness, 
but  it  was  a  law  of  generosity.  In  what  other  legis- 
lation do  you  ever  find  such  a  provision  made  as 
this — that  when  we  see  an  enemy  in  distress  or  peril, 
we  are  not  to  look  away,  but  are  to  go  to  his  assist- 
ance. How  wonderfully  generous  were  all  the  provi- 
sions made  with  regard  to  the  poor  ;  what  generosity 
was  to  be  shown  to  them  in  the  seventh  year,  and  in 
the  fiftieth  year,  and  at  the  harvest  times.  And  this 
law  was  a  law  which  had  always  before  itself  an  idea, 
— not  an  ascetic  idea,  but  an  idea  of  joy  and  glad- 
ness— that  Israel  was  to  rejoice  before  the  Lord  their 
God,  in  all  the  occupations  which  He  had  given  them, 
and  in  all  the  blessings  with  which  He  had  sur- 
rounded them,  in  a  land  that  was  to  be  fertile,  as 
long  as  they  were  under  the  blessing  of  God,  and  in 
a  land  that  was  to  be  desolate  so  soon  as  they  de- 
parted from  God  ;  for  even  the  land  was  in  sym- 
pathy with  Jehovah,  as  it  is  still  in  sympathy  with 
Him.  On  this  very  earth  of  ours,  and  from  the 
very  fields  and  plants  and  trees,  there  shall  be  a 
response,  when  man,  who  is  the  priest  of  the  whole 
creation  of  God,  shall  be  really  such  a  priest,  in  the 
presence  of  the  Most  High.      But  now  we  know  that 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  355 

the  law  could  not  accomplish  this,  in  that  it  was 
weak,  through  the  flesh.  Let  me  remind  you  of  the 
principle  I  announced,  which  I  think  is  the  key,  by 
which  to  understand  properly  the  whole  Old  Testa- 
ment. This  Mosaic  law  was  a  mere  intermediate 
parenthetical  dispensation  ;  and  it  was  not  merely, 
with  reference  to  the  individual  sinner's  righteousness 
and  life,  that  the  law  was  feeble,  but  also  as  to  the 
life  of  the  nation.  With  regard  to  the  national 
position  of  Israel,  and  even  with  regard  to  Israel 
having  a  tenure  of  the  land  of  Canaan,  the  law 
failed,  in  that  it  was  weakened,  through  the  flesh. 
The  law  made  nothing  perfect.  The  law  was  only 
to  excite  in  Israel  the  great  desire  after  Him,  in 
whom  all  the  promises  of  God  are  Yea  and  Amen, — 
and  to  prepare  and  educate  Israel  for  His  advent. 

And  now  let  us,  for  a  few  moments,  look  upon 
Moses,  who  was  the  mediator.  God  does  all. — "  Of 
Him  and  to  Him  are  all  things," — but  God  uses  man 
as  His  instrument.  He  made  the  covenant  with  Abra- 
ham; He  redeemed  Israel  by  Moses  ;  He  afterwards 
elected  David  to  be  the  beginning  of  the  kingdom,  and 
upon  these  men  and  their  faith,  so  to  speak,  depended 
the  continuance  of  God's  dealings  with  Israel.  So  we 
must  learn  to  combine  the  two  aspects — that  all  things 
are  of  God,  and  that  the  very  beginning  of  our  faith 
is  the  gift  of  God  ;  and  at  the  same  time  the  other 
aspect — that  Abraham,  Moses,  David,  the  apostles,, 
were  pillars,  and  the  pillar  has  to  bear  a  weight,  and 
if  the  pillar  gives  way,  that  which  is  based  upon  it 
will  also  give  way.  Therefore  there  was  a  great 
weight  upon  Abraham,  and  upon  Moses,  and  upon 
David,  and  upon  the  apostles.  We  are  built  upon 
the  foundation  of  the  apostles,  Jesus   Christ   being 


356  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

the  head  corner-stone.  How  wonderful  was  that  man,- 
Moses,  whom  God  chose  to  be  the  mediator  of  the 
old  covenant.  God  chose  him  ;  God  watched  over 
his  infancy.  How  marvellous  was  His  protection. 
How  marvellous  was  the  providence  which  brought 
Moses  into  the  house  of  Pharaoh,  and  still  kept  up 
his  connection  with  his  own  family,  in  which  Jehovah 
was  known  and  worshipped.  How  marvellous  was 
that  choice  which  Moses  made.  He  who  was  the  only 
Hebrew  who  could,  if  he  wished,  forget  his  nation, 
and  their  bondage,  and  degradation,  preferred  the 
reproach  of  Him,  of  whom  Abraham,  Isaac,  and  Jacob 
had  testified,  to  all  that  Egypt  was  able  to  offer  to 
him.  How  marvellous  was  it  afterwards,  in  order 
that  Moses  might  learn  to  distinguish  between  nature 
and  grace,  between  flesh  and  the  spirit,  that  his  own 
zeal  and  enthusiasm  for  his  nation  came  to  nothing. 
And  then  for  forty  years  there  was  a  time  of  quiet 
and  isolation,  when  in  the  wilderness  he  was  a  shep- 
herd, and  there  God  prepared  him  for  becoming 
afterwards  the  shepherd  of  the  nation.  How  mar- 
vellous was  the  appearing,  in  the  burning  bush,  of 
God,  or  rather,  of  Christ,  the  angel  of  the  covenant, 
who  said  to  him,  "  I  am  the  God  of  Abraham,  Isaac, 
and  Jacob."  God  had  to  make  him  willing,  for  now 
he  was  not  willing  to  go,  and  to  be  His  messenger, 
and  now  he  learned  the  lesson — "  When  I  am  weak 
then  am  I  strong."  God  did  everything,  but  all 
went  through  the  trembling  heart  of  Moses.  By 
faith,  he  led  Israel  out  of  Egypt ;  by  faith,  when  he 
was  at  the  Red  Sea,  he  was  crying  unto  the  Lord, 
although  he  uttered  not  a  single  word,  for  the  whole 
burden  of  the  nation  rested  upon  him.  He  it  was  to 
whom  God  gave  the  law,  and  God  saw  in  Moses  the 


REVEAL    VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  357 

whole  nation.  It  is  most  touching  to  see  how  the 
whole  nation  of  Israel  was  bound  up  in  that  one  man 
— Moses.  When  God  was  not  pleased  with  Israel,  He 
said  to  Moses,  "  TJiy  people  whom  thou  hast  brought 
up  out  of  Egypt,"  and  Moses  complained  to  God  and 
said,  "  Have  I  begotten  them  ?  Am  I  their  father  ?  " 
Am  I  their  mother  ?  Am  I  to  bear  and  nourish 
them  ?  Moses  was  full  of  zeal  for  the  glory  of  God. 
He  forgot  self  completely.  "  What  will  the  nation 
say  if  thou,  who  hast  brought  them  out  of  Egypt, 
dost  not  consummate  thy  work  and  thy  purposes  ?  " 
Very  touching  is  the  intercession  of  Abraham  for 
Sodom  and  Gomorrah, — but  there,  we  are  in  a  dif- 
ferent region.  Abraham  appeals  to  God  as  the  God 
of  heaven  and  earth,  who  will  do  what  is  right. 
Abraham  is  touched,  with  a  feeling  of  pity  and 
compassion,  for  the  inhabitants  of  these  cities  ; 
Abraham  thinks,  it  would  not  be  according  to 
justice  that  destruction  should  come  upon  them, 
if  there  were  a  few  righteous  men.  All  this  is 
very  noble,  is  very  much  according  to  the  mind  of 
God,  and  shows  a  heart  full  of  faith  and  full  of  love. 
But  still  higher  was  the  position  of  Moses.  He 
alone  knew  God  ;  he  alone  knew  Israel.  When  he 
was  before  God,  it  was  only  Israel  ;  when  he  was 
with  Israel,  it  was  only  God.  When  God  was  going 
to  destroy  Israel,  and"  He  offered  to  make  Moses 
a  great  nation,  Moses  was  willing  to  be  anathema, 
that  Israel  might  be  saved.  Never  did  any  one 
rise  to  such  a  height — a  height  which  it  is  almost 
impossible  to  contemplate,  without  bewilderment — 
but  that  dear  apostle  Paul  who  was  willing  to  be 
anathema,  on  account  of  Israel,  his  kinsmen  accord- 
ing to  the  flesh.     Jesus  Christ  Himself  is  the  great 


358  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

Intercessor,  who  was  not  merely  willing  to  die  for 
us,  but  who  was  actually  made  sin  for  us,  and  a 
curse  for  us,  in  order  that  Ave  might  be  brought  to 
God.  And  this  Moses,  as  the  servant  of  God,  was 
faithful  in  all  God's  house.  He  was  prophet,  priest, 
and  king  in  Israel.  To  him  was  revealed  the  glory 
of  God.  To  him  were  shown  the  mysteries  of  the 
kingdom,  in  the  pattern  on  the  Mount.  His  patience, 
his  meekness,  his  love,  his  tenderness,  his  fortitude,  his 
zeal — there  seems  no  single  attribute,  in  the  character 
of  the  man  of  God,  that  was  wanting  in  him  ;  and 
therefore  it  is  difficult  to  speak  of  any  excelling 
virtue  in  Moses,  because  he  seems  to  have  possessed 
all  virtues.  And  yet  you  know  that  Moses  also  failed, 
and,  strange  to  say,  he  failed  just  in  the  faithful 
representing  of  the  mercy  of  God,  the  sovereignty 
and  the  grace  of  God,  which  is  full  of  tenderness  and 
of  kindness, — when  he  did  not  sanctify  God  before  the 
people, — when  he  did  not  show  them  the  entire  for- 
giveness of  God, — that,  notwithstanding  all  their  ob- 
stinacy and  rebelliousness,  God  was  not  merely  about 
to  supply  them  with  water,  but  was  going  to  give  it  to 
them, — without  rebuking  them, — or  reproaching  them. 
This  was  the  sin  of  Moses — that  he  did  not  sanctify 
God  before  the  nation.  How  can  we  sanctify  God  ? 
What  can  we  do  ?  It  is  by  not  doing  anything,  that 
we  sanctify  God.  It  is  just  by  leaving  the  name  of 
God  as  it  is,  that  we  sanctify  God, — and  there  it  was 
that  Moses  failed.  And  so  the  book  of  Numbers  is 
full  of  sadness  and  melancholy,  and  would  end  alto- 
gether in  darkness,  if  it  were  not  for  the  book  of 
Deuteronomy,  in  which  Moses  appears  as  the  prophet, 
seeing  into  the  far  distance,  showing  to  us,  in  the 
first  place,  the  spirituality  of  the  law — that  it  is  love 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  359 

to  God  and  love  to  man — and  then  showing  that  God 
would  never  forsake  Israel,  but  that,  after  all  their 
backsliding,  and  after  all  their  apostasy,  and  after  all 
the  punishments  which  would  come  upon  them,  God 
would  again  have  mercy  upon  them,  and  bring  them 
home  to  Himself,  and  the  prayer  would  at  last  be 
fulfilled— Oh  that  they  were  wise,  and  had  a  heart 
to  obey  my  commandments. 

The  chief  promise  which  God  gave  to  Israel,  in 
which  there  is  advance  upon  the  promises  given  in 
the  book  of  Genesis,  is  the  promise  through  Moses, 
that  a  prophet  like  unto  himself,  God  should  raise  up 
to  the  nation,  from  among  their  brethren  ;  and  the 
adherence  to  this  prophet  was  to  be  the  essential 
condition  of  a  person  belonging  to  the  people  of 
God.  To  belong  to  this  prophet  was  to  belong  to 
God  ;  to  reject  this  prophet  was  to  reject  God. 

Now  let  me  say  a  few  words  on  the  death  of 
Moses.  The  last  words  on  record,  uttered  by  the 
lips  of  Moses,  are  words  of  blessing, — even  as  our 
Saviour,  before  He  was  lifted  up  to  heaven,  blessed 
His  disciples — "  Happy  art  thou,  O  Israel  "  ;  and 
then  although  Moses  was  still  strong,  his  eye  full  of 
brightness,  and  his  natural  strength  not  abated,  he 
died.  He  died  not  in  the  course  of  nature, — but  as 
an  expression  of  the  displeasure  of  God,  on  account 
of  his  sin, — and  also  because  it  was  not  possible  that 
Moses  who  represented  the  law  should  lead  Israel 
into  the  promised  land.  Here  we  see  how  no  human 
type  was  able  to  combine  all  that  is  in  Christ.  We 
must  take  Moses  and  Joshua  together  to  complete 
this  type.  But  God,  before  Moses  died,  showed  to 
him,  no  doubt  in  a  miraculous  way,  from  the  top  of 
Mount  Nebo,  all  the  land  which  He  was  about  to  give 


36o  THE  JEWISH  ORDINANCES  SHOWN  TO 

to  His  people.  Then  there  was  a  remarkable  thing, 
— Moses  who  was  the  man  of  God,  Moses  with  whom 
God  spoke,  as  a  friend  speaks  to  his  friend,  must  die, 
— and  therein  was  a  most  solemn  lesson  to  himself 
and  to  all  Israel.  It  was  the  dispensation  of  death, 
and  he  also,  as  a  transgressor,  must  die.  But  it 
did  not  seem  good  to  the  heavenly  wisdom,  that  the 
shadow  of  death  should  be  beheld  on  that  counten- 
ance, which  at  one  time  was  so  radiant  with  the 
glory  of  God  that  Israel  was  not  able  to  look  upon 
it, — and  therefore  it  was  that  God  Himself  buried 
Moses  ;  and,  many  centuries  after,  we  behold  on  the 
Mount  of  Transfiguration  this  same  Moses,  who 
represents  the  past  and  the  law,  and  Elijah,  who 
represents  the  prophets  and  the  future,  appearing 
to  our  Saviour  Jesus  Christ,  and  their  conversation 
was  about  the  death  which  Jesus  should  accomplish 
at  Jerusalem  ;  and  then  the  disciples,  after  having 
beheld  Moses  and  Elijah,  beheld  Jesus,  and  Jesus 
only  ;  and  the  promise  and  prediction  which  Moses 
had  given — "  A  prophet  like  unto  me  shall  the  Lord 
thy  God  raise  up  from  among  thy  brethren  " — was 
now  ratified  by  the  voice  which  came  from  the  ex- 
cellent glory  and  said  "  Hear  him."  So  it  is  that 
Moses  leads  us  to  Christ,  in  order  that  afterwards  we 
should  see  Christ  only. 

There  is  a  twofold  application  of  this  with  which 
I  must  conclude. 

The  first  is  with  regard  to  the  Jews.  During  this 
whole  present  dispensation,  although  it  is  their  great 
pride  and  delight  to  say  "  We  are  the  disciples  of 
Moses,"  Moses  is  buried,  and  they  know  not  where  he 
is.  So  was  the  law  utterly  unintelligible  to  Saul  of 
Tarsus,  and  he  thought  that  he  had  kept  the  law,  and 


REVEAL   VIVIDLY  THE  GOSPEL  361 

that  he  had  a  righteousness  of  his  own,  not  under- 
standing that  the  law  was  spiritual,  and  that  neither 
righteousness  nor  life  came  by  the  law  ;  but  when 
Jesus  appeared  to  him,  then  Saul  of  Tarsus  not 
merely  saw  Jesus,  but  he  saw  also  Moses.  He 
understood  then  what  was  the  real  glory  of  Moses — 
to  lead  us  to  the  Saviour  ;  and  therefore  he  says 
that  Israel  when  they  read  the  law  are  not  able  to 
understand  it,  because  there  is  a  veil  upon  their  hearts, 
but  that  when  Israel  shall  turn  to  the  Lord — he  does 
not  say  "  if"  as  if  there  were  uncertainty  ;  it  is  a  mere 
question  of  time — whenever  Israel  shall  turn  to  the 
Lord,  then  the  veil  shall  be  taken  away  from  their 
hearts,  and  they  shall  not  merely  see  Jesus,  but  they 
shall  understand,  how  it  was  the  Lord  who  buried 
Moses,  and  that  this  Moses  lives,  because  he  testified 
of  Christ. 

And  the  second  application  is  to  ourselves.  It 
was  the  sign  of  a  sincere  Israelite,  who  loved  the  law 
of  Moses,  that,  being  convinced  of  his  guilt,  and  of 
the  weakness  of  the  flesh,  he  longed  after  the  Messiah, 
and  after  the  promise  of  the  Father, — the  Holy  Ghost ; 
and  it  is  a  sign  of  our  sincerity,  who  profess  to  have 
received  Jesus  and  the  Holy  Ghost,  that  we  delight 
ourselves  in  the  law,  and  that  the  righteousness  of 
the  law  is  fulfilled  in  us,  who  walk  not  after  the  flesh 
but  after  the  Spirit. 


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St.  Matthew.     By  Rev.  J.  Monro  Gibson,  D.D.,  Author 
of  "  The  Ages  before  Moses,"  etc. 

Mark.      By  Very   Rev.    G.  A.  Chadwick,   D.D.,   Dean    of 

Armagh. 

London  :    HODDER  &  STOUGHTON,  27  Taternoster  Row. 

5 


The   Expositor's   Bible. — Continued. 

St.   Luke.     By  Rev.  Henry  Burton,  M.A. 

The  Gospel  of  St.  John.     By  Rev.  Prof.  Marcus  Dods, 

D.D.      In  Two  Volumes. 

The  Acts  of  the  Apostles.  By  Rev.  Prof.  G.  T. 
Stokes,  D.D. 

1st  Corinthians.     By  Rev.  Prof  Marcus  Dods,  D.D. 
Galatians.      By  Rev.   Prof  G.  G.  Findlay,  B.A.,  Heading- 
ley  College,  Leeds. 

The  Epistle  to  the  Ephesians.  By  Rev.  Prof  G.  G. 
Findlay,  B.A. 

Colossians  and  Philemon.  By  Rev.  Alexander 
Maclaren,  D.D. 

The  Epistles  to  the  Thessalonians.  By  Rev.  James 
Denney,  B.D. 

The  Pastoral  Epistles.  By  Rev.  Alfred  Plummer, 
D.D.,  Master  of  University  College,  Durham. 

Hebrews.  By  Rev.  Principal  T.  C.  Edwards,  D.D., 
Author  of  "  A  Commentary  on  the  First  Epistle  to  the 
Corinthians." 

St.  James  and  St.  Jude.  By  Rev.  A.  Plummer,  D.D., 
Master  of  University  College,  Durham. 

The  Epistles  of  St.  John.  By  Right  Rev.  W.  Alex- 
ander, D.D.,  Lord  Bishop  of  Derry  and  Raphoe. 

The  Book  of  Revelation.    By  Rev.  Prof  w.  Milligan, 

D.D. 

London  :    HODDER  &  STOUGHTON,  27  Paternoster  Row. 

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The  divine  unity  of  Scripture. 

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